Blog One

Manila, Saturday, 25th Feb 2022: Poor outside shooting contributed to India’s second consecutive loss in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers underway in Philippines. Facing the hosts after a one-sided defeat to New Zealand, India stayed within striking distance for three quarters. Eventually, the fast paced Gilas Philippines pulled away to a comfortable 24 point victory. For the second consecutive game, the Young Cagers were plagued by turnovers in the first quarter. Philippines readily capitalized, with a 21-9 advantage in points from these extra possessions. The South East Asian powerhouse also saw better contributions from its bench, enjoying a 35-16 differential compared to India. Pushed into a starting role, power forward Prashant Rawat handsomely repaid Coach Veselin Matic’s faith with a 13 points, 10 rebounds double-double. Significantly, 5 of his rebounds came on the offensive glass. India though, struggled from the three-point line, going just 2/13 (15.4%). For the second successive game, India’s key starters Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Amritpal Singh and Muin Bek Hafeez were restricted to single digit scoring. On the flipside, promising young point guard Sahaij Sekhon top scored yet again with 14 points. Interestingly, Coach Matic opted to shorten the rotation, with seasoned power forwards Palpreet Singh Brar and Aravind Annadurai, both posting ‘DNPs’. With South Korea having withdrawn from this window, India will have two days off before its final rematch against New Zealand. The game tips off on Monday, 28th February at 12:30pm IST.