Game Photos. Game Details and Stats
TOKYO, Japan (4th FIBA Asia Cup): For the second day running, India played far beyond the expectations. But again for the second day running, they lost out to an opposition that showed better opportunism to capitalize on the opponents’ mistakes. The 84-63 win Qatar notched on Saturday to open their account in Group B Prelim Round – having lost to Japan on the opening day – might have given them their first win, but they looked far from a team that emerged as the winners of this edition of this competition in 2004.
In a manner of speaking, it was the same team with almost the same players that had won Qatar the 1st FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup – as it was called then – and the signs of ageing have surely begun to show in the speed – or the lack of it – of the whole combination.
Three of those players – Omar Salem, Daoud Musa and the inimitable Yasseen Ismail, the first mentioned also bagging a double-double, along with Mohammed Yousuf – returned double-digit scores to lead Qatar to this win.
“I am looking to take my team to a camp in a desert spring where they can provide us water which will make them younger,” joked Qatar coach Tom Wisman.
“It’s affecting the speed of our guard plays,” he said on a more serious note.
“This was a problem yesterday, and it continued today as well,” he added.
“As a result our shooting is far from what it should be, or what we want it to be,” said the coach.
“I can only hope we can improve from here with each game.”
“We certainly have improved in our two games,” said India’s assistant coach JP Singh, who is doing more of manning the sidelines that the veteran KK Chansoria who has been listed as the head coach.
“But there are moments in the game when the experience of the players makes a lot of difference. This something we lacked yesterday and we lacked the same thing today also,” he added.
Narender Grewal who has a peculiar, but precise, action from the foul-stripe converted all his 6 free-throws to share the scoring honors for India with Rikin Pethani – each with 14 points.