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FIBA Asia Cup: India suffer defeat against the Philippines in second group match

The Indian men’s basketball team suffered a 59-101 defeat against the Philippines in its second FIBA Asia Cup 2022 Group D match at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, here on Friday.

Muin Bek Hafeez was India’s standout player with 14 points followed by Pranav Prince with 11. William Navarro, with 18 points, and Thirdy Ravena, 17, did the damage for the Philippines.

This was India’s second loss in a row in the FIBA Asia Cup after a 100-47 thrashing against world No. 27 New Zealand in the opener. India are currently third in Group D with two points, just above Lebanon who have the same tally but have played a game less.

The Philippines, ranked 34th in the world, started on the front foot, as expected, against an Indian basketball team ranked 48 places below them.

India’s Pranav Prince dunked to get the scoreboard rolling but the Philippines soon took over the reins and raced to a 13-8 lead. Some great work by Muin Bek Hafeez helped India draw level at 13-13 but it was the last time the Indian team found itself on level terms with their opponents throughout the duration of the match.

With Thirdy Ravena leading the offensive, the Philippines ended the first quarter with a seven-point lead before extending it to 18 before half-time as the score read 53-38.

India, missing captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi through an injury, failed to mount any sort of resistance in the second half as they kept leaking points. The game ended 101-59 in the Philippines’ favour, an report said.

India’s final Group D match will be against world No 54 Lebanon on Sunday. The top team from the group will advance to the quarterfinals while the second and third-placed nations will compete in the playoffs for a second chance at making the final eight.

Notably, India’s best performance at the FIBA Asia Cup came in 1975 when they finished fourth.

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