Bengaluru: Defending champions India continued their unbeaten run after demolishing Bhutan 119-52 in the fourth edition of the South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Championship underway at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Saturday.
After getting the better of Nepal and Bangladesh on the opening day, the hosts eased past the tiny Himalayan nation to go neck and neck with Sri Lanka, who look another possible title contender.
India stayed superior to Bhutan in size, strength and agility.
There were moments of delight when Bhutan players showed off their ball handling skills, most notably an ankle breaker that had India captain and forward Rikin Pethani on the floor.
But India will be more than happy to have sealed this win, especially with the return to form of "Mr Big Shot" Joginder Singh Saharan, who recorded a triple double of 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
In decisive matches on day 2, Nepal surprised the more favoured Bangladesh side to record their second straight win, however, later in the evening, the same side suffered a reversal of fortunes, losing to Maldives 68-72.
Sri Lanka on the other hand, struggled in the first half against Bangladesh, before winning 80-63. "We had lost to Bangladesh by 2-3 points in the last edition, but we are confident of beating them today," Sri Lanka Head Coach Panduka Ranasinghe had predicted before the match.
However, Bangladesh's aggression at the start of the match put them on the backfoot. Bangladesh's duo of Mithunkumar Biswas and Mithun Sarkan came good yet again, but were effectively countered by Sri Lanka's young guard Praneeth Udumalagala.
Udumalagala is a budding college player in the US, and his confidence shined through in his 26 point performance. Earlier this morning, Sri Lanka had eased past Maldives 92-66.