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Points Per Game
 Dermaine CROCKRELL
  Punjab S.
  (185-G-89)
  Avg: 44.3
 1. Crockrell, Punjab S.44.3 
 2. Kelly, Hydrabad S.39.5 
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 5. Bhriguvanshi, Benga.30.9 
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 7. Mattox, Haryana G.30.3 
 8. Solomon, Bengaluru29.5 
 9. Newton, Pune P.28.4 
 10. Scroggins, Mumbai C.27.7 
Rebounds Per Game
 Amritpal SINGH
  Pune P.
  (212-C/F-91)
  Avg: 13.3
 1. Singh, Pune P.13.3 
 2. Pethani, Chennai S.10.2 
 3. Boskailo, Hydrabad.9.3 
 4. Newton, Pune P.9.0 
 5. Bhriguvanshi, Benga.8.5 
 6. Crockrell, Punjab S.8.3 
 7. Brar, Bengaluru8.3 
 8. March, Delhi C.8.1 
 9. Hyams, Haryana G.7.8 
 10. Kelly, Hydrabad S.7.5 
Assists Per Game
 Agu CHUKWUNANU
  Chenn.
  (--)
  Avg: 10.2
 1. Chukwunanu, Chenn.10.2 
 2. Bhriguvanshi, Benga.9.4 
 3. March, Delhi C.7.3 
 4. Kelly, Hydrabad S.7.3 
 5. Newton, Pune P.7.1 
 6. Gill, Mumbai Ch.6.7 
 7. Mattox, Haryana G.6.2 
 8. Pari, Punjab S.6.1 
 9. Crockrell, Punjab S.5.4 
 10. Hyams, Haryana G.5.3 
Steals Per Game
 Dermaine CROCKRELL
  Punjab S.
  (185-G-89)
  Avg: 3.4
 1. Crockrell, Punjab S.3.4 
 2. Scales, Mumbai Ch.3.2 
 3. March, Delhi C.2.9 
 4. Chukwunanu, Chenn.2.3 
 5. Mattox, Haryana G.2.2 
 6. Hyams, Haryana G.2.2 
 7. Jat, Chennai S.2.2 
 8. Scroggins, Mumbai C.1.8 
 9. Gill, Mumbai Ch.1.6 
 10. Bhriguvanshi, Benga.1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Ronald MARCH
  Delhi C.
  (196-G-93)
  Avg: 2.7
 1. March, Delhi C.2.7 
 2. Brar, Bengaluru2.6 
 3. Singh, Pune P.2.1 
 4. Boskailo, Hydrabad.1.5 
 5. Thomas, Hydrabad.1.5 
 6. Pethani, Chennai S.1.3 
 7. Gill, Punjab S.1.3 
 8. Singh, Delhi C.0.9 
 9. Singh, Delhi C.0.8 
 10. Jaskaran, Harya.0.8 
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Play-Off bracket1
India stun China again in FIBA Asia championships - Sep 14, 2016


POSTED BY:
ANIL KUMAR
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In a repeat of 2014, the senior Indian men's team beats heavyweights China 70-64, to inch closer to a quarterfinals spot with a game against Kazakhstan remaining.

New Delhi/Bengaluru, 13th September 2016: Second round action of the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 continued today at the Twelve Thousand People Sport Hall, Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran, Iran. Led by captain centre Amritpal Singh, the Indian men's team stunned Group E leaders China 70-64 earlier today, to inch closer to a quarterfinals spot.

Coming into this match, India had lost 2 straight games, against Chinese Taipei in round 1, and its initial second round match against Jordan yesterday. China though had an unblemished 3-0 record and looked to keep it that way as it led 27-18 halfway through the second quarter.
Fighting Back

But suddenly, India came alive, with the defensive brilliance of its frontcourt of Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh sparking a 13-2 run to close out the period with a slender 31-29 lead.

In the second half, captain centre Amritpal Singh came into his own, bulldozing his way into the paint, to score 8 points within the first 3:30 mins. It was China's turn now to feel the heat, as the pressure mounted on the relatively younger side (average age 22 yrs as against India's 24 yrs). The error prone China had 22 turnovers and virtually gave up the interior to India. Pounding on the boards, India had 19 offensive rebounds which contributed to 18 second chance points.

India now led 51-45 to end the third quarter, and a repeat of its path breaking upset from 2014 seemed well on the cards. However, the Young Cagers were faced with a perplexing dilemma of their own. Two of its Big Three of Amjyot and Amritpal were on four fouls each, but Head Coach Sat Prakash Yadav chose to keep them on the floor. China showed better aggression to begin Q4, as India's once 11 point lead late in the third quarter was cut down to just 4, 53-49.
India's bench steps up

With Amjyot and Amritpal having to go passive in a bid to avoid getting fouled out, veteran guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi managed the clock perfectly, to give India quality possessions on offense. But the dagger was provided by none other than Amritpal who stripped his rival Chinese centre off the ball, and threw down a monstrous dunk to get India back up by 6 pts, 55-49 with 7:50 left in the game.

Amjyot had already fouled out by then and Amritpal soon followed. Suddenly, with 5 minutes left India was faced with the daunting prospect of protecting a 9 point lead (60-51) with its starting frontcourt consigned to the bench. Admirably, the backup forwards of Rikin Pethani and Ravi Bhardwaj showed excellent composure on both ends of the floor to ensure India's memorable 70-64 victory.

Aggression to the fore

According to Bhriguvanshi and Head Coach Sat Prakash Yadav, defence was heavily emphasized. 'Overall it was a team effort and they played as well as they did at the practice sessions at NITTE Campus. We worked on defence and this gave my boys more confidence on offense. Our strategy was to pressure the ball man and not let the first receiver receive the pass easily,' said Yadav.

Bhriguvanshi also echoed that sentiment, 'We just thought, let's play good defence. It was a great game by the team and I can really say that we played a perfect team game.'

'As we planned right from the beginning, we played great half court pressure defence. Our team did not allow China to receive the ball in the shooting range, so they were forced to attempt low percentage shots from farther out,' said assistant coach CV Sunny.

The numbers back up their statements, as India had more steals (11-6), blocks (4-1) and rebounds (45-37). Much of this can be credited to centre Amritpal Singh, who averaged his third straight double double of the tournament.

No doubt this is a massive upset, with China ranked 14th in the world compared to India's 53. But it is to be remembered that like Philippines, another much higher ranked team upset by India earlier in this tournament, China too has sent a younger unit. Only one Chinese player - centre Yuchen Zou - has been retained from its 2016 Olympic squad. Notably, China's two NBA level starting forwards Yi Jianlian (Los Angeles Lakers) and Zhou Qi (Houston Rockets) are absent from the side.

That said, it could equally be argued that India too has been missing the likes of centre Satnam Singh and power forward Palpreet Singh. The former is currently with NBA D League side Texas Legends, while the latter is at present trying out for the D League. Additionally, it must be emphasized that the average age of the Indian squad itself is just 24, meaning that the core will remain largely intact for the next few years.

Despite the result, China stays on top of Group E. India on the other hand has temporarily climbed up to the 3rd spot. India takes on bottom placed Kazakhstan tomorrow from 5pm onwards in its final second round game. A win will guarantee a spot in the quarterfinals, while a loss could still see it through provided Jordan beats Philippines in their final head to head tomorrow morning.

Results on 13/9/2016
India (Amritpal Singh 23 pts 14 reb 3 blk 3 stl, Amjyot Singh 16 pts 8 reb, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 15 pts 6 ast 3 stl) bt China (Jinqiu Hu 19 pts, Tianju He 12 pts) 70-64 [14-17, 17-12, 20-16, 19-19]   




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