Asian C’ships: Indian cagers go down to Malaysia
Mumbai: After narrowly losing to Lebanon in the opener, the Indian hoopsters sunk to a 67-71 loss against Malaysia in their second Group A round robin tie at the 26th FIBA Asia Basketball Championships in Wuhan, China on Friday.
India, who held a one-point lead over Lebanon with two minutes left for the final buzzer before losing 68-71 last evening, were again pipped at the end by Malaysia, according to information received here.
India, with American Kenny Natt as head coach, will now play table toppers Korea, who have won both their matches, on Saturday to complete their engagements in the four-team group.
India, who trailed 26-42 at half time, were well served against Malaysia in the points tally by Jagdeep Singh, who top-scored with 25. Amjyot Singh and Hareesh Koroth also contributed to the final tally with 13 and 11 points respectively.
On Thursday, India were on the verge of toppling one of the continent`s top teams, Lebanon, before a heroic performance by top player Jean Abd El Nour stopped them as Lebanon survived to win by three points.
El Nour scored eight of his game-high 24 points in the dying minutes to defeat the fighting Indian outfit.
The West Asians initially led by 15 points and then held a 13-point lead at half time, before India fought back in the third quarter with a 32-14 run to take a stunning 64-57 lead.
El Nour took it upon himself to lead his team`s challenge and brought Lebanon on par. He brought out a foul and converted both free-throws to clinch the issue for his team.
Hareesh Koroth scored 20 points for India while Talwinderjit Singh added 18 to the scoreline.