New Delhi/Bengaluru, 31st July 2016: India has ended its 24th FIBA Asia U18 Men’s Championship on a very positive note, pushing favoured Philippines to the absolute brink before finishing the Championship on a 12-year-high.
The last time the Indian U18 Men’s team had entered the quarterfinals was back in 2004, where the side finished 7th.
Coming into this match, Philippines (WR 28) had beaten India (WR 52) quite easily (105-82) in the group stages. As this 7-8 classification game got underway, the south-east Asian powerhouse looked to reassert its supremacy, raking up a 12 point lead at the end of the first quarter. But the tide turned drastically over the next 20 minutes, with India going on a 37-28 run. At the end of the third quarter, Philippines led, but only just (54-51). No more were they taking their opponents for granted as the two sides geared up for an epic finish.
Indian Coaches Dileep Gurumurthy and Paramdeep Singh, who have been giving ample floor time to their second unit in the latter stages of this championship, continued with the same strategy. Tonight, it was the turn of the two backup Delhi guards Hansraj and Rachit to prove their mettle.
Captain P Baladhaneshwar, India’s influential guard did not play a single minute, nor did power forward Mohammed Shiras. With those two on the bench, guards Hariram Ragupathy and Rachit, and centre Vishal stepped up to score a whopping 51 points between them. The key statistic in India’s favour was the number of times it was able to get to the freethrow line, attempting 28 freethrows while conceding just 9 to Philippines.
In the fourth quarter, Philippines started well, going on a 11-1 run before Vishal, Hariram and Rachit got India back within 1 possession, 64-65. Turnovers by both teams followed, before Philippines’ Fran Yu showed nerves of still to knock down two clutch freethrows to take his side to a 3 point lead. India had a chance to tie the game with 34 seconds left in regulation, but the rushed three by Hariram was off the mark. In the end Philippines did just enough to secure the classification win, while India’s U18 team sent out an ominous warning to their Asian opponents that their best is still to come in the years ahead.
In the main draw of the competition, Japan and Iran will face off in the finals scheduled later this evening.
You can watch the game here:
Indian Squad for the 24th FIBA Asia U18 Men’s Championship 2016
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth||Height
(cm)(ft and inches)
|9||Sayyed||Saqlain Jamir||15/02/1998||Kada, Maharashtra||190
|13||Gupta||Vishal Kumar||04/01/1998||Village Chapar, Uttar Pradesh||199
|14||Mohammed Ali||06/04/1998||Samo Ki Dhani, Rajasthan||194
|24||Poiyamozhi||Baladhaneshwar||07/12/1999||Ullikkottai Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu||180
|25||Ragupathy||Hariram||24/04/1998||Chennai, Tamil Nadu||184
|30||Arthur Wilson||Daniel Richards||25/10/1998||Chennai, Tamil Nadu||180
|52||Noushad||Muhammed Shiras||04/07/1999||Alappuzha, Kerala||190
*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot
13) Team Manager: Mr. Ashok Sahu
14) Physio: Dr. Kannan Ratinasamy Bose
15) Head Coach: Mr. Dilip Gurumurthy
16) Assistant Coach: Mr. Paramdeep Singh
17) Referee: Mr. Imran Ali Baig
18) Referee: Mr. Ramesh Koppanathi
About the 24th FIBA Asia U18 Men’s Championship 2016
Venue: Azadi Sports Complex, Tehran, Iran
There are 12 participating teams that have been divided into two preliminary groups:
Group A – China (WR-12), Chinese Taipei (WR-27), India (WR-52), Iraq (WR-62), Philippines (WR-28) and Thailand (WR-67).
Group B – Indonesia (WR-70), Iran (WR-24), Japan (WR-26), Kazakhstan (WR-37), Korea (WR-18) and Lebanon (WR-54).
Each team shall play all the other teams within its own group and the top 4 teams from each group qualify for the quarter-final round, followed by the semi-finals and finals. Additionally, placement matches will also be held for positions 3-8.
The significance of this Championship is that the top three teams progress to the FIBA Under-19 World Championship that will be held in Cairo, Egypt from 1 to 9 July 2017.
India’s Upcoming Schedule [Timings in IST]
Classification match for 7th-8th positions: vs Philippines on 31st July 2016 from 1:00 pm onwards
For more details see: www.fiba.com/asia/u18/2016/fullschedule
The Asia U-18 Men’s Championship was first held in 1970 in Seoul and has since been held every 2 years (or 3 years in certain cases). China is the most storied team at the Asian level, having won gold 11 times, followed by Philippines (6) and South Korea (3).
Coming into this edition, China is the defending champion, followed by Iran (silver) and South Korea (bronze).
For info on all time medallists, see: www.fiba.com/asia/u18/2016/all-time-medalists
Prior to the upcoming edition, India has participated in the Asian Championship 18 times, with its best finish coming at the 1972 Championship held in Manila, Philippines, where the side finished 4th.
As hosts, India had conducted the 1998 and 2004 iterations in Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively. From 2006-2010 and in the last 2014 edition, India finished in 13th place, while in 2012, India managed a higher 10th place finish.