Bengaluru, 6th July, 2016: Day 2 of the South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Zone Qualifying Round of the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 concluded a short while ago at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in the city, with Bangladesh & India posting contrasting wins.

Earlier in the day, it was also announced during a special press conference that the Indian School Basketball League, inter alia, will be launched next month.

Bangladesh beat Nepal
  1. In the first match of the day, Bangladesh survived a massive Nepal scare before prevailing 73-71. The teams were neck and neck in each of the first three quarters, and searching for a run to break away from their opponents. Bangladesh forward Mithun Biswas hit back to back threes midway through the fourth in a bid to put away their pesky Himalayan rivals, but Nepal’s Binod Maharjan and Sonam Lama scored clutch buckets of their own to stay within striking distance. In the final few seconds, Bangladesh’s Tareq made a crucial defensive stop, got fouled and scored from the freethrow line to make it a four point game and take away any comeback chances that Nepal might have harboured. Both teams had two players scoring 20 or more, for Nepal it was guard Sadish and forward Ashim, while for Bangladesh, forwards Mithun and Md Ataur carried much of the offense.
    Nepal (in white) battled hard with Bangladesh but ultimately fell short

    Nepal (in white) battled hard against Bangladesh but ultimately fell short

    Nepal vs Bangladesh Box Scores

    India beat Maldives

    This was a match where both teams knew the other’s game plan even before the match started. India had the size advantage from positions 1 to 5, while Maldives would look to continue their high speed offense.

    India took the game lightly, but still led 23-5 at the end of the first quarter. There was a missed dunk by Vishesh, an unnecessary turnover caused by the crowd pleasing Talwinderjit Sahi, when he attempted a behind-the-back pass in transition while prematurely pointing a celebratory finger towards the crowd, and there was the failed attempt at a trailer dunk. The vastly experienced Yadwinder was also guilty of turning the ball over while unnecessarily looking for the full court lob. But none of that mattered when it came to the scoreline, as India held a mammoth 51-14 lead at halftime.

    By the time Ahmed Adhuham knocked down a three pointer with 6 mins to go in Q3, his team was nearly 30 points behind India. But going by his reaction—jumping up and down while simultaneously pumping his fists— and his bench’s who all got on their feet, one would think that they were close to an upset.

    But while Maldives won hearts with their fearless game against vaunted opponents, India were happy with the win, and going up 2-0. India next plays Bangladesh in their final match tomorrow, and will look to book yet another trip to the FIBA Asia rounds.

    Veteran guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi rises up over the Maldives defence

    Veteran guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi rises up over the Maldives defence

    India vs Maldives Box Scores

    Results (7/07/2016)

    Bangladesh (Mithun Kumar Biswas 22, Md Ataur Rahman 22) bt Nepal (Sadish Pradhan 26, Ashim Shrestha 22) 73-71 [18-16, 11-13, 21-20, 23-22]

  2. India (Talwinderjit Sahi 15, Rikin Pethani 13, Ravi Bhardwaj 12) bt Maldives (Ibrahim Shareef 8) 96-40 [23-5, 28-9, 23-19, 22-7]
About the SABA Qualifiers 2016
Upcoming Fixtures (Subject to Change)
July 08
  • Maldives vs Nepal                   00 PM
  • India vs Bangladesh               30 PM
Tournament Format

The tournament is played on a round robin format and the team with the best record at the end of this championship will progress from the South Asian region to the FIBA Asia Challenge scheduled for 9th to 18th September in Tehran, Iran. A round robin tournament is when each team will face every other team in the tournament once, and the final standings will be based on win/loss statistics. SABA serves as a sub-zone qualifier for the FIBA Asia Challenge.

Previous Editions / Winners

2012:  Assam:  1st India, 2nd Bangladesh

2013:  Dhaka:  1st Bangladesh 2nd Pakistan (India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka did not participate)

2014:  Kathmandu:  1st India 2nd Bangladesh

2015: Bengaluru: 1st India, 2nd Sri Lanka

Qualification for 2017 FIBA Asia Cup

The 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge is the second step in the qualification process for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, which will be the first continental cup that will see participants from both Asia and Oceania. The FIBA Asia Cup (starting in 2017) was previously known as the FIBA Asia Championship and the FIBA Asia Challenge (starting in 2016) was previously known as the FIBA Stankovic / Asia Cup. These changes were decided on at the second meeting of the 2014-19 FIBA Asia Central Board which took place in New Delhi on 30th-31st January 2016.

Indian Squad for the SABA Qualifying Round 2016

Family Name/
Last Name
Given Name/
First Name
Place of Birth
(City & State)
Employer Date of Birth (dd/mm/yy) Height
(ft & inches)


4 Bhullar Arshpreet Singh Jalandhar Punjab 02/10/1996 190 (6’ 2’’) 86 G/F
8 Singh Arjun Varanasi Uttar Pradesh


ONGC 08/06/1992 189 (6’ 2’’) 70 SG
9 Bhriguvanshi Vishesh Varanasi Uttar Pradesh


ONGC 13/09/1991 195 (6’ 3’’) 95 G/F
10 Amritpal Singh Ganna Pind Punjab


ONGC 05/01/1991 207 (6’ 9’’) 110 C
12 Philip Basil Sulthanbathery Kerala Cental Customs & Excise


10/01/1991 184 (6’) 76 G/F
14 Yadwinder Singh Rasulpur Khurd Punjab




30/12/1986 198 (6’ 4’’) 95 F
15 Pethani Rikin Sajiavadar Amreli Gujarat


Income Tax 02/12/1990 203 (6’ 6””) 104 C
23 Annadurai Aravind Tanjore Tamil Nadu Indian Overseas Bank


05/07/1993 200 (6’ 5””) 95 C
25 Arumugam Arvind Mandya Karnataka


Vijaya Bank 28/01/1991 197 (6’ 4””) 94 PF
44 Bhardwaj Ravi Chandigarh Chandigarh


31/10/1992 207 (6’ 7””) 100 F/C
66 Pari Akilan Chennai Tamil Nadu Income Tax


20/07/1989 180 (5’ 9’’) 70 PG
77 Talwinderjit Singh Patiala Punjab


20/10/1986 182 (5’ 9’’) 80 PG

*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot

13) Coaches: Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph (Head Coach) and CV Sunny (Assistant Coach)

About Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information at

Team Ekalavyas
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