Veselin Matic, head coach of the Indian men’s basketball team had words of praise for India’s superior rivals.

Last night, India got overpowered by an undermanned and second-string Lebanon team in the final first-round game of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Both teams had already cemented their respective positions in the Group – Lebanon at the top, and India at third – for this game to have any consequential meaning. Keeping this in mind, Coach Matic decided to start the game with a young roster.

READ: Turnovers and Missed Free Throws See India Fall to Lebanon

India Coach Veselin Matic 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

In the post-game press conference, Coach Veselin Matic was quick to praise the competitive structure of Lebanese Basketball.

“Our main problem in India is not playing game(s) and during COVID we couldn’t go outside of India for international experience. If you see the Lebanese team every year they have 50-60 games. Lebanese Basketball is ready for respect. I coached [their] national team and I coached in their league, which is one of the strongest leagues in this part of Asia. it was good for us that today they played a lot of young players. They didn’t show what they can do.”

India will now proceed to the Final Qualifying Tournament in June-July, while Lebanon has directly advanced to the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup.


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