India in quarters of Asian basketball meet despite losing

Changsha (China), Sep 29 (IANS) The Indian men’s basketball team has qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2015 Asia Championship for the first time since 2003 — despite losing 65-99 to Philippines here on Tuesday.

India progressed to the knockout stage, despite the loss, on the basis of a superior head-to-head matchup against Palestine.

Both the teams ended their Group E commitments with a 2-3 win-loss record, but India defeated Palestine in their group encounter on Sunday to clinch the knockout spot.

India have two wins in their last three games and await the winner of the match between China and Qatar, which will determine the winner of Group F.

Philippines won their fifth straight match of the competition by beating India on Tuesday to top Group E.

India took a good start, leading by one point after the first quarter. Philippines then proceeded to take over and broke the game wide open in the last two quarters, building a lead as high as 37 points.

Terrence Romeo top-scored for Philippines with 20 points.

Commenting on the achievement, veteran forward Yadwinder Singh said: “We are ecstatic to have qualified and all the players have put in a lot of effort. Compared to teams in the past, the key difference has been the improved showing of our big men Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh.”

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