FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers: India Go Down Fighting Against Iran | Basketball News


FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers: India Go Down Fighting Against Iran

India put up a strong show against 27th-ranked Iran.© Twitter

India put up a strong show against 27th-ranked Iran but went down 53-86 in their Group E match of the ongoing FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, New Delhi on Monday. The 81st-ranked India made an impressive start with forward Pranav Prince being accurate with his interceptions as the hosts took a two-point lead in the first minute. Iran players took their time to find rhythm but once they did, they used their superior physicality to get past the Indian defence.

However, India managed to remain in the game, trailing by only three points at the end of the opening quarter.

India tried to counter the visitors with fast-paced runs, countering over 40 per cent of their two-pointers. Yet, they struggled on the rebounds and trailed 32-42 at half-time.

Prince was the top scorer for the India with 11 points, while Arvind Kumar Muthu Krishnan and Muin Bek Hafeez contributed with nine points each.

For Iran, Benham Yakhchali collected 15 points whereas Mohammad Amini and Salar Monji earned 14 points each.

India head coach Veselin Matic said, “India has talent; we need more experience. We have some gap now before the next qualifier in November, and the national team will be participating in club championship and multiple other exposure trips. We are confident that we can give a winning performance.” India, who lost their opening contest against Kazakhstan 50-63, are currently placed at the bottom of the group table.

The next opportunity for India to turn around their fortunes will be against Qatar in November.

The qualifiers are scheduled to run until February 2025. The top two teams from the six groups will make it to the main tournament in Saudi Arabia next year, while the third-placed teams in each group would play the final qualifier round.

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