India fail to capitalise on a good start
India who had created history by defeating China earlier in the tournament, were on the verge of creating another upset but couldn't capitalize on their good start as they lost 62-49 to Iran in the ongoing FIBA Asia Cup .
The loss won’t harm India much though as they have already progressed to the quarterfinals.
The men in blue looked undeterred while facing the Asian Champions Iran as they took a seven-point lead in the first quarter and stretched it to 12 by halftime.
However, an ankle injury to Vishesh Bhriguvanshi started the downslide for India as they couldn't hold on to the lead thereafter. Bhriguvanshi returned back, but seemed ineffective as Iran took a 40-23 advantage. Iran didn't allow any slip up thanks to a superb effort from Haddadi, and registered a comfortable win in the end.
They finished second behind China in the points table.
Indian coach is optimistic about the quarterfinals
Indian coach Scott Fleming though looked satisfied despite the loss and expected India to do better as the tournament progresses.
“We played great 15 minutes of basketball in the first half, especially on the defensive end, but we never quite recovered from [Vishesh Bhriguvanshi’s injury]. They were real physical from us and we didn’t respond well with that. We gave the ball up, either that or we took bad shots,” said Fleming.
“We’ll probably face a top team in the Quarter Finals,” Flemming added, looking ahead in the tournament. “But obviously, we’re improving. We beat China and this wasn’t an easy game for Iran by any means. I think we’ve proved we belong here. I don’t think there’s anybody here that we feel we can’t beat. But on the other hand, there are plenty teams here that if we don’t play our top game, they’ll beat us. We know we’re a good team, we belong here, we’re going into the quarterfinals. It’s a new day for India!” added Fleming.
India, who have 6 points from 4 games, will either finish third or fourth, depending on how Japan fare against Indonesia tonight. India will know about their next opponent only after the conclusion of the Japan-Indonesia game.