Iran 88-66 India; The defending champions hand India their first loss of FIBA Asia 2015

Modified 24 Sep 2015
FIBA India Iran Asia 2015 Amjyot Singh
India’s Amjyot Singh prepares for a three-pointer against Iran during the match

India suffered their first loss in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships at the hands of reigning champions Iran in Hunan, China. After beating Malaysia comfortably, India lost 66-88 to the Asian powerhouse in their second match of Group A.

Amjyot Singh was the star of the match as he scored a massive 26 points in a match where India trailed throughout. Iran’s bench strength shined through in the match as their substitutes combined to score nearly half their points – 41. In contrast, India managed a paltry 14 points from the bench.

India blew away Malaysia in a 102-73 win on the opening day, while Iran routed Japan 86-48. Iran started on the front-foot, taking a 4-0 lead early in the first quarter. India halved the deficit, but Ehadadi restored their lead from the free throw line. India held the Iranis to 10-4 at the halfway mark in the first quarter, but the defending champions broke off the shackles and went on a scoring spree for the remaning 5 minutes of the quarter.

H. Afagh hit the first three-pointer of the match which opened the floodgates as India were put on the backfoot. Iran outscored India 17-7 in the final 4 minutes of the first quarter, which ended with Iran leading 27-11.

The second quarter saw a spirited Indian side stage a strong comeback which saw Iran’s lead reduced to just 7 points at one stage. Captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Amritpal Singh started India’s 9-point run as the Iran coach was forced to call for a timeout after just 4 minutes in the quarter.

After a few minutes when both teams exchanged points, Amjyot Singh helped India outscore Iran 19-11 in the second quarter as the first half ended with the 17th ranked team in the world leading 39-30. India suffered a blow near the end of the half when Amritpal Singh was fouled out after committing his 5th foul near the buzzer.

The second half was a rout of sorts for India as Iran showed their quality by outscoring India 49-36.

In the third quarter, Iran scored 24 points as compared to India’s 18 points. M. Nik Khahbahrami brought Iran their 50th point with a three-pointer in the 24th minute. Yadwinder Singh scored a few points from the paint and sunk in a couple of free throws, but Iran ended the quarter strongly, leading 63-48.

In the final quarter, the defending champions maintained their dominance as they forced India into a few turnovers. Amjyot Singh put up a fight, but the Iranis kept on rotating their players well as the Indians tired towards the end. Iran beat India 88-66 to top the group stage while India were handed their first loss in Hunan. Amjyot Singh top scored with 26 points while chipping in with 9 rebounds. Iran’s top scorer was M. Hassanzadeh Saberi with 16 points while Khahbahrami won 8 rebounds for his team.

Published 24 Sep 2015
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