February 6, 2010

India lose to Afghanistan in SAG final

Despite an inspired second-half comeback, India lost to Afghanistan 65-64 in the final of the South Asian Games basketball tournament, at Dhaka (Bangladesh) last night.

India's national basketball team, The Young Cagers, had lost to Afghanistan once in the group stages of the tournament.


Seriously, Afghanistan.

Here's an excerpt of the final's recap from The Hindu:

India tasted its first setback of the 11th South Asian Games here on Friday. First the Indian football team bowed out in the semifinals losing to host Bangladesh 0-1 and later the men’s basketball team was beaten by Afghanistan in a rousing final 65-64.

Trailing 35-44 at half-time, the Indians made a remarkable recovery in the next two quarters to tie the score at 58-all. The Indians, 49th in the FIBA ranking, kept the pressure on and took the vital lead with four minutes to go.
Jagdeep Singh, who was the Indian playmaker, missed a couple of lay-up shots at the crucial minutes and this allowed the Afghanistan to sink in a two-pointer to regain the lead by one point.

Apart from the Afghanistan losses, the Vishesh Bhriguvanshi led squad actually performed well in the rest of the tournament. India was in a group with Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. They won their other two group games, highlighted by a 52-point drubbing of Sri Lanka (led by Vishesh's 31-point explosion).

In the semi-final, India defeated the hosts Bangladesh 96-54 before losing to Afghanistan for the second time in the close final on Friday night.

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