FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers: Saudi Arabia beats India 85-54
Indian and Saudi Arabian basketball players matched each other move for move in the opening period, but Saudi Arabia gained the upper hand and led 19-14 at the end of the first ten minutes.
- Saudi Arabia
The Indian men's basketball team was trounced by Saudi Arabia 85-54 in Group E of the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on Thursday. Seijin Mathew led India in scoring with 10 points, while Saudi Arabia's Hazim Bader A Aljohar and Khalid M Abdel Gabar countered with 16 points each as per the Olympics website.
Indian and Saudi Arabian basketball players matched each other move for move in the opening period, but Saudi Arabia gained the upper hand and led 19-14 at the end of the first ten minutes. Early in the second quarter, Saudi Arabia stretched its lead to 16 points as they managed to control the momentum. Seijin Mathew, a power forward, and Lokendra Singh, a shooting guard who had nine points in the contest and excellent drives, cut the lead to 10 points at the end of the first half.
The Indian basketball team surged back into the game after falling down 38-28 to trim the Saudi Arabian lead to five points at 43-38 in the second half. However, India missed easy field goals and trailed 66-47 entering the last ten minutes. India, which is now ranked 85th, appeared dangerous in the penultimate frame but world No. 73 Saudi Arabia won the match easily after earning 19 points to India's 8 in the final quarter.
The Indian basketball team hasn't experienced victory in a game during the FIBA World Cup 2023 qualifying round. India dropped three of their first three matches in the second round after dropping all four of their first-round contests. They still have three games left, but after losing to Saudi Arabia, they have a slim chance of advancing to the next round of the basketball World Cup. India's following game is against Lebanon on Saturday at the Pierre Gemayel Arena in Beirut (local time). In the 18 previous editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, India has never advanced to the main draw. (ANI)
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