India suffered their third defeat on the trot with a 88-113 loss against Chinese Taipei to virtually crash out of the 4th FIBA Asia Cup basketball tournament on Sunday.

The Indians, who had lost to Iran and Qatar, showed a lot of enthusiasm and energy in their Group B match but the lack of experience proved their undoing as they were outplayed by a stronger opponent.

India conceded a seven-point lead (24-31) to Chinese Taipei in the opening quarter. The gap became wider as Chinese Taipei ensured a 58-41 half-time lead.

By the third quarter, India were out of the game as they were thoroughly outplayed by Chinese Taipei who fired 33 points to build a massive 33-point lead (91-58) going into the fourth and final quarter.

The Indian did, however, salvaged some pride by scoring 30 points in the final quarter as against 22 by their opponents but it was too late to save the game.

Chang Tsung-hsien led the charge for Chinese Taipei with 20 points while Creighton Douglas and Chih-Chieh netted 15 and 13 points respectively.

For India, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi top-scored with 22 points and dished out 12 assists for the first double-double of the competition. Amrit Pal Singh and Pethani Rikin contributed 18 points apiece.

“We played our hearts out and worked hard. Somewhere down the line, we are lacking the game-experience to convert the energy into victory,” said 21-year-old Bhriguvanshi.

The third defeat in a row left India with very little chance of making it to the quarterfinals. They play against hosts Japan tomorrow in their last group match.

Four top sides from the two groups of five teams each will qualify for quarterfinals.

Coach JP Singh was, however, happy with the performance of his boys despite failing to win any match.

“I think we have done exceedingly well against all expectations. We are taking a lot of positives back although the results might show otherwise,” he said.

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