In their opening game of Group D of the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 against New Zealand on Wednesday in Jakarta, the Indian men’s basketball team was badly beaten 100-47. The top scorer for India was Arvind Kumar Muthu Krishnan, who had 13 points, followed by Pranav Prince, who had 10. Sam Mennenga, a forward for New Zealand, finished with 21 points to lead as the games top scorer.
India, the 82nd-ranked team in the group, got off to a strong start against the No. 27 ranked team, New Zealand and quickly established a 6-2 lead. India, who were without their captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi due to injury, were unable to capitalize on their strong start and quickly found themselves in trouble. The Indian team trailed the Tall Blacks 30-12 at the end of the first quarter.
India scored just nine points in the second quarter, leaving them 64-21 down at the break.
The Indian basketball team displayed significantly tighter defense in the third quarter. However, New Zealand had the game well in hand with an 80-35 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, India attempted to contain the damage, but the final score was 100-47 in favor of New Zealand. India will play the 34th-ranked Philippines on Friday before playing Lebanon, which is placed 54th, on Sunday.
The group’s top team advances to the quarterfinals, while the second- and third-placed countries participate in the playoffs for a second chance to move to the final eight. India’s best showing at the FIBA Asia Cup was a fourth-place finish in 1975.
Here is what the New Zealand captain had to say:
“We’ve had a short preparation coming in, so we’re really happy to get this win,” he told reporters.
“It’s something to build on.”
Captain Tohi Smith-Milner was happy with the performance. “We have been training really hard the last 10 days or so it was good to get out there and have a good hit-out.
“There’s a lot to work on, a lot of great things happened during the game, but we have a long way to go. We have some great teams coming up and we’re looking forward to the challenge.’’
India has been struggling from the start
On Sunday in Manila, the Philippines defeated the Indian men’s basketball team 79-63 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers. India finished the first round without picking up a single win and they lost all of their 4 fixtures by convincing margins.
India only qualified due to a disqualification
The Indian team suffered defeats against New Zealand 101-46 and 95-60 in addition to an 88-64 loss to the Philippines in the rematch. South Korea, the fourth nation in Group A, was eliminated because of a COVID-19 pandemic in their camp, which is why India went on to play the tournament instead.
Indian Defense one of the weakest in the tournament
We have seen the Indian side pick up early leads, but they always seem to lose them just as quick. The blocking is almost non-existent and the marking isn’t exactly up to international standards. They will have to fix this issue soon, or they are heading for an embarrassing exit to say the least.