• China beat India 97-57 on the opening day of the BRICS Games 2017 in Guangzhou, China.
  • Amjyot Singh Gill led the Indian team with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.
  • India felt the absence of its star centre Amritpal Singh, as the team was outrebounded 45-26.
  • Indian shooting guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi suffered an ACL injury and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament.
  • India now faces 9th ranked Russia (19th July) followed by its last match against South Africa tomorrow.

The Indian men’s team at the BRICS Games inauguration. Image credits: Basketball Federation of India

Bengaluru, 19th June 2017: Last evening, China beat India 97-57 on the opening day of the BRICS Games 2017, despite a strong performance from star player Amjyot Singh Gill. The game was fairly competitive in the first half: it was a one point game late in the second quarter, before a 9-0 run allowed the Chinese to take a 38-28 lead into half time. The hosts carried that momentum into the second half, scoring 33 and 26 points in the third and fourth quarters respectively, as the game finished 97 – 57.

Amjyot Singh Gill led the Indian team with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. But as a unit, the team struggled to find its scoring touch, only managing a field goal percentage of 36 from 2-point range, although it shot a decent 31.5% from beyond the arc. To complicate matters, Indian shooting guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi went down early in the second half, losing his footing while driving to the basket. He has been diagnosed with an ACL injury and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament. Indian fans will be hoping that he recovers in time for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup that will be played in Lebanon in August.

On the defensive end, India was made to pay in the paint in the absence of star centre Amritpal Singh. Chinese centre Tao Hanlin came off the bench to lead his team with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Chinese team was particularly dominant off the glass, pulling down a total of 45 rebounds that also included 14 offensive rebounds, whereas India only recorded 26 rebounds in total.

Next up, India will play 9th ranked Russia on Monday, June 19th, before wrapping up the tournament against South Africa on Tuesday, June 20th.

China (Tao Han Lin 18 pts, 11 reb; Liu Xiao Yu 14 pts) bt India (Amjyot Singh Gill 26 pts, 2 blks, 2 stls; Rikin Pethani 12 pts) 97–57 [19-16, 19-12, 33-15, 26-14]

Nitesh Daryanani
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