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FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers: India outplayed 61-80 by dominant Saudi Arabia

INDIA LOST THEIR opening game in the second round of FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers to Saudi Arabia by 19 points.

An opening game for the Group B that also includes Palestine, hosts Saudi Arabia far outplayed India in most departments as they maintained a lead in the first three quarters, before going all out to run up the score in the last period. The result was a fine 80-61 victory, aided by a superb all-round performance from Khalid M Abdel Gabar, who was their leading scorer with 17 points.

You can watch the entire match here courtesy the official FIBA youtube channel.

For India, the first two were marked by poor finishing and towards the end the defence appeared tired and unable to keep up with the opponents' attacks.

Poing guard Joginder Singh notched in 17 points aided by a 100% free throw conversion (5/5) and was the leading scorer for the team. But India's other point guard, the young Sahaij Sekhon, had a good impact on the game with 15 points that included a 75% conversion rate for 3 pointers (3/4). It was during Sekhon's quick impact phase that India managed to reduce their deficit to just 3 points early in the third quarter, before the game slipped away from them again.

Amyjot Singh Gill was the standout player in the Indian defence while the best all-round performances came from Muin Bek Hafeez and Joginder Singh, who had efficiencies of +11 & +16 respectively.

With this loss India are in a weak position going into their last match in the group against Palestine on 21st August. Due to the high point difference against Saudi Arabia, Veselin Matic's boys must now try to win with a large margin to have a chance of qualifying for the FIBA Asia Cup.

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