Bengaluru/Beirut, 14th August 2017: The Indian men’s basketball team has ended its campaign at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017, after a 78-87 loss to Syria in the final game of the group stages.
It was a game of two halves, as India was absolutely brilliant in the first twenty minutes. At half time, India was leading 51 – 35 which grew to 19 early in the second half.
But Syria began to stifle India thereafter. They were hustling the Indian men into taking tough shots, while scoring relentlessly at the other end. Syria tied the game at 71 each with 6 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, before taking the lead for good.
The big centres on both sides starred for their teams with double-doubles: Ivan Todorovic with 23 points and 14 rebounds for Syria, and Amritpal Singh with 17 points and 13 rebounds for India.
Aravind Annadurai top scored for India with 20 points, most of which came in a hugely impressive first half. While the team will be disappointed at not progressing deeper into the tournament, it was excellent exposure for the younger players looking to build chemistry ahead of the all important 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup (Asian Qualifiers). Grouped with Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, India’s qualification campaign will begin against Lebanon on 23rd November 2017.
Syria (Ivan Todorovic 23 pts, 14 rebs; Micheal Madanly 18 pts; Tarek Aljabi 18 pts) bt India (Aravind Annadurai 20 pts; Amritpal Singh 17 pts, 13 rebs; Amjyot Singh Gill 17 pts) 87–78 [17 – 25, 18 – 26, 25 – 17, 27 – 10]