India cruised to a 99-42 victory over Sri Lanka after leading 60-20 at halftime in the only Group A encounter of the Middle Asia qualifying basketball tournament here on Wednesday.
With its training under American coach Kenny Natt, quite rigorous, and the opposition pretty ordinary, India opted to field every player to help them get a feel of the match atmosphere. Everyone scored except Eudrick Pereira.
Both the teams had made the semifinals even before the match started, as the group had only two teams.
The good thing about the Indian squad was that the players operated like a team, not showing any traces of anxiety to corner the scoring opportunities. In fact, the team was quite forceful in defence, frustrating the Lankans.
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (16), Jagdeep Singh (15) and Prakash Mishra (14) were the main scorers, while Sambhaji Kadam hogged all the attention with his imaginative play, even though he scored just four points. Yadwinder Singh, nursing an injured ankle, opened the account for the host and after missing two successive free-throws made way for the towering Satnam Singh, who contributed six points apart from intimidating the Lankans.
Once India took a 46-7 lead, after gaining command in the first quarter at 32-5, the match ended as a contest. It was mere training drill thereafter for both the teams. Yet, India did not slacken its pace, as it was keen to check out the gains of training with competent guidance.
The results (league):
Group A: India 99 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 16, Jagdeep Singh 15, Prakash Mishra 14, Amritpal Singh 12, Riyaz-ud-din 10) bt Sri Lanka 42 (Ranwaluge Rosshan Suran 11, Sidath Senanayaka 10).
Group B: Nepal 79 (Sadish Pradhan 21, Sanjay Byanjankar 18, Binod Maharjan 15) bt Bhutan 53 (Galden Chophel 14, Kesang Phuntsho Tshering 12).
Bangladesh 92 (Mithun Kumar Biswas 25, Md. Shamsuzzaman Khan 17, Shre Mithun Sarker 16, Md. Rasheeduzzaman 11) bt Bhutan 59 (Sonam Phuntsho 14, Galden Chophel 10).
Keywords: Middle Asia basketball