New Delhi: A spirited India made a valiant fightback before losing their opening match of the FIBA Asia Basketball Championship against Lebanon 68-71 at Wuhan in China on Thursday.
Lebanon were leading by 15 points at the third quarter but the Indian hoopsters made a stunning comeback and took a seven-point lead at one stage in the final term.
But, the Indians lost steam towards the close and were beaten 68-71 in a thrilling Group A match at Hongshan arena.
India`s Hareesh Koroth was the star, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the second half fightback including three long-range bombs.
Jean Abdel El Nour was Lebanon`s saviour with 24 points, including eight in the final quarter.
In the other Group A match of the opening day, South Korea thrashed Malaysia 89-42.
India play Malaysia in their second group match on Friday.