*After the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup and the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, the senior Indian men’s team has progressed to the knockouts for the third straight time*

New Delhi/Bengaluru, 14th September 2016: Second round action of the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 has concluded for India today at the Twelve Thousand People Sport Hall, Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran, Iran. India beat Kazakhstan 100-90 in its last Group E game to progress to the quarterfinals as the fourth placed team from the group, behind China, Jordan and Taipei.

India has completed its group stage engagements across the first and second rounds, with a positive win-loss differential of 3-2.

Led by the explosive TJ Sahi, India outlasts Kazakhstan

Barring the first and third quarters, India looked in control against the weakest team in Group E. India’s most notable performance came via the energetic veteran sixth man, guard Talwinderjit ‘TJ’ Sahi. TJ shot 9/14 from 2-point range and hit 4 of his 9 attempted three pointers, all of which came in the first half TJ’s 25 point explosion in the first 20 minutes meant that India had converted a 2 pt deficit at the end of the first quarter into an 8 point lead at halftime.

Talwinderjit Sahi elevates for 2 of his team high 32 points. Image credit- FIBA Asia.

Talwinderjit Sahi elevates for 2 of his team high 32 points. Image credit- FIBA Asia.

Desperately searching for its first win though, Kazakhstan fought back in the third, to tie the match at 71 apiece.

Going into the 4th period it could have been anybody’s game, but India’s veteran trio of Yadwinder Singh, Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh showed great composure in facilitating yet another scoring surge. With 3 minutes left for the final buzzer, India’s lead was back up to 10. The seasoned guard duo of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and TJ Sahi joined in, while captain Amritpal Singh had a late dunk for good measure to make it appear as if the win was never in doubt.

Like against China yesterday, India had once again out-rebounded its opponents (46 to 30 on this occasion). This trend goes a long way in illustrating how India has been playing in this tournament, crashing the glass and exhibiting tough defence. The Young Cagers also shot a lot better from the 3-point line (31.6%), as compared to its previous game against China.

Looking Ahead

India now goes into the elimination round as the fourth team in Group E, where it will face F1 i.e. the team that finishes first in group F. This team is Iran, who beat Korea in the final match of group F, to lead the group going into the next round.

With tomorrow being a much needed rest day, India’s quarterfinals will tip off on 16th September from 9:45 pm onwards (IST).

Results on 14/9/2016

India (Talwinderjit Sahi 32 pts, Amritpal Singh 28 pts, Amjyot Singh 14 reb 12 pts 8 ast, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 13 pts 7 ast)bt Kazakhstan (M. Yevstigneyev 30 pts, P. Micheev 22 pts, N. Bazhkin 12 pts) 100-90 [19-21, 32-22, 20-28, 29-19]

About the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016

The FIBA Asia Challenge was previously known as the FIBA Asia Cup. It is the first step in the qualification process for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.

The top 5 teams will earn for their respective sub-zones an extra berth at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, which will be the first inter-continental tournament featuring teams from both Asia and Oceania (i.e. Australia & New Zealand). The top teams from the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in turn qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge will be held at the Twelve Thousand People Sport Hall, located in the north & south of the main street of the Azadi Sport Complex.  Host Iran is the defending champion.

Format

The initial round of the tournament will be played in a round robin format. The 12 participating teams have been divided into 4 groups of 3 teams each, and each team will play the 2 teams that are in the same group as them.

Preliminary Round Grouping

Group A: China, Jordan, Kazakhstan

Group B: Philippines, India, Chinese Taipei

Group C: Iran, Qatar, Iraq

Group D: Japan, Korea, Thailand

All 12 preliminary round teams will advance to the second round, where they will be divided into 2 teams of 6 each. Each team will then play the 3 new teams in its group. The top 4 teams from each of the second round groups will then move on quarter-finals, followed by the semifinals and finals.

India’s Tournament Schedule (all times IST)
Quarterfinals

vs Iran, 16th September 2016- 7:30 pm onwards

For more information please visit: www.fiba.com/asia/challenge/2016

India’s Squad

The final 12 members of the squad who will represent India at the FIBA Asia Challenge were selected at the end of a nearly one-month long training camp held at NMAM Institute of Technology (NITTE) in Karkala, Udupi district of coastal Karnataka.

While the Indian side remains largely unchanged from last month’s 38th William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament, there are a couple of key changes. Veteran swingman and defensive stopper Yadwinder Singh returns to the team, and is expected to provide much needed versatility on both ends of the floor in terms of matchups. Also, teenager Hariram Ragupathy, one of the stars from India’s historic 8th place finish at the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship, makes his debut into the senior team.

A small ceremony was held at the NITTE campus to bid farewell to the Indian squad, which was attended by Mr Chander Mukhi Sharma, Secretary General of BFI.

“On behalf of BFI I convey my sincere thanks to NITTE University management, who for the last two years have been continuously providing us all the training facilities for the Indian team. This is my first visit here, but this is one of the best campus facilities I have seen,” said Mr Sharma.

Addressing the departing contingent, he said, “Ultimately, it is the outcome of your efforts which will benefit basketball in India. You are the players who are icons for all other players in the country. So I wish you all the success and that you put up a performance that is even better than in all the previous championships that you have attended.”

Senior Men’s Squad for the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016

Jersey
No
Family Name(s)

/Last Name

First Name(s)

/Given Name

Place of Birth

(City and State)

Date of Birth
(dd/mm/yyyy)
Height
(cm)
(ft & inches)
Weight

(Kg)

Position
4 Bhullar Arshpreet Singh Jalandhar Punjab 02/10/1996 190 (6’ 3’’) 86 G/F
9 Bhriguvanshi Vishesh Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 13/09/1991 195 (6’ 5’’) 95 G/F
10 Amritpal Singh Ganna Pind Punjab

 

05/01/1991 207 (6’ 9.5’’) 110 C
12 Philip Basil Sulthanbathery Kerala 10/01/1991 184 (6’) 76 G/F
14 Yadwinder Singh Rasulpur Khurd Punjab 30/12/1986 198 (6’ 6’’) 95 F
15 Pethani Rikin Sajiavadar Amreli Gujarat

 

02/12/1990 203 (6’ 8”) 104 C
22 Bhardwaj Ravi Chandigarh Chandigarh

 

31/10/1992 207 (6’ 9”) 100 F/C
25 Ragupathy Hariram Chennai Tamil Nadu 24/04/1998 184 (6’) 72 SG
27 Amjyot Singh Chandigarh Punjab/ Haryana 27/01/1992 203 (6’ 8”) 104 F
46 Sivakumar Prasanna Venkatesh Gobichettipalayam Tamil Nadu 25/09/1992 186 (6’ 1”) 85 G/F
66 Pari Akilan Chennai Tamil Nadu 20/07/1989 180 (5’ 10’’) 70 PG
99 Talwinderjit Singh Patiala Punjab

 

20/10/1986 182 (5’ 11’’) 80 PG

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

13) Coach: Sat Prakash Yadav

14) Coach: C. V. Sunny

15) Physiotherapist: Nikhil N. P.

16) Manager: Shaktikumar Mahipatsinh Gohil

17) FIBA Commissioner: Norman Swaroop Issac

18) FIBA Referee: Atanu Banerjee

Team Ekalavyas
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