Despite losing to the Philippines, the Indian senior men’s basketball team on Tuesday qualified for the quarterfinals at 28th FIBA Asia championship. This is the first time since 2003 that India has got so far. Though the Philippines outplayed India 99-65, India managed to step into the next stage having recorded two wins in the last three games,
In its previous game, India recorded a narrow win over Palestine: it beat its opponents by just three points, 73-70. India will now play China from the Pool F for a place in the semi-finals. China is the only unbeaten side in the tournament.
“We are ecstatic to have qualified and all the players have put in a lot of effort,” veteran forward, Yadwinder Singh told NDTV. "Compared to teams in the past, the key difference has been the improved showing of our big men Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh." It is significant that both players have been the part of Japanese developmental league and have been playing more games abroad.
Though, China is going to be a tough cookie to crack, India is hoping to avoid the mistakes of its the last game with the Philippines. India had a strong start in the first quarter but then seemed to have lost its way.