Indian cagers win SABA title, qualify for Asia Cup
The senior Indian men's team completed the formalities of a 108-32 win over Maldives to be crowned champions of the 3rd South Asian Basketball Association Championship 2014 at the Dashrath Stadium Complex, Tripureshwara here today.
India's greater international experience, height, speed, skill, endurance and brute strength have been too much to handle for all the other teams in this competition.
Maldvies, an island nation with a population of 3,00,000, were no exception. India's suffocating half court defense meant that Maldives were rarely able to get within 15 feet of the basket.
On the contrary, India virtually lived in the paint. Forwards Amjyot Singh, Riken Pethani and centre Amrit Mann combined for more than 10 dunks in the lopsided contest. Such was the size mismatch that the tallest Maldives player was almost a foot shorter than India's 7ft centre Amrit Mann.
By halftime India led by a whopping 64-16 margin and after threatening to cross the 100 point scoring barrier in the earlier matches, finally registered a 108-32 triple digit victory today.
With this win, India finished an unbeaten 4-0 in the tournament after earlier beating Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. As the number one team in South Asia, India has now qualified for the much tougher Asia Cup to be held in Wuhan, China in mid-July, where sterner tests against Asian powerhouses China, Iran and Philippines await.
Results: India 108 (Prakash Mishra 16) bt Maldives 32 (Aushane Ibrahim 12) [Scoring in each quarter: 35-10; 29-6; 31-3; 13-13].
(Posted on 17-05-2014)