Talwinderjit Sahi (right) in action during India-Kazakhstan match at FIBA Asia Challenge.
Tehran: The Indian basketball team defeated Kazakhstan 100-90 in its last Group E game to secure a place in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 here on Wednesday.
This is the third straight time the men’s team has progressed to the knockouts. After the win at Azadi Sports Complex, India entered the knockouts as the fourth team from the group behind China, Jordan and Taipei.
India have completed the group stage engagements with a 3-2 win-loss ratio.
Led by the explosive TJ Sahi, barring the first and third quarters, India looked in control against the weakest team in Group E. India’s most notable performance came via the energetic veteran sixthman guard Talwinderjit Sahi. Sahi shot 9/14 from 2-point range and hit 4 of his 9 attempted three pointers, all of which came in the first half.
Sahi’s 25 point explosion in the first 20 minutes meant that India had converted a 2 point deficit at the end of the first quarter into an eight point lead at halftime.
Desperately searching for their first win, Kazakhstan fought back in the third, to tie the match at 71 apiece.
Going into the 4th period it could have been anybody’s game, but India’s veteran trio of Yadwinder Singh, Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh showed composure in facilitating yet another scoring surge. With three minutes left for the final buzzer, India’s lead was back to 10.
The seasoned guard duo of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Sahi joined in, while captain Amritpal Singh had a late dunk for good measure to make it appear as if the win was never in doubt.