Jakarta, (Indonesia), July 13 (IANS) The Indian men’s basketball team suffered a heavy 47-100 defeat against New Zealand in its FIBA Asia Cup 2022 Group D opening match, here on Wednesday.
Arvind Kumar Muthu Krishnan was the top scorer for India with 13 points followed by Pranav Prince with 10. New Zealand forward Sam Mennenga was the highest scorer in the match with 21 points to his name.
India, the lowest-ranked team in the group at 82nd, made an encouraging start and took a 6-2 lead against world No 27 New Zealand in the opening minutes. However, India, missing captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi through an injury, couldn’t build on the start and soon found themselves on the backfoot.
The Indian team finished the quarter trailing the Tall Blacks 30-12. The second quarter saw India score only nine points as they fell 21-64 behind at half-time.
In the third quarter, the Indian basketball players put up a much tighter defensive display. New Zealand, however, had the match firmly in their grip with an 80-35 lead going into the final quarter. India looked for damage-control in the fourth quarter but the match eventually ended 100-47 in New Zealand’s favour.
India will play world No 34 Philippines on Friday followed by the match against 54th-ranked Lebanon on Sunday, an olympics.com report said.
The top team from the group will advance to the quarter-finals while the second and third-placed nations will compete in the playoffs for a second chance at making the final eight. Notably, India’s best performance at the FIBA Asia Cup came in 1975 when they finished fourth.