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India beat Palestine at Asian basketball meet


Changsha (China): India edged out Palestine 73-70 thanks to the 32 points made by Amjyot Singh at 2015 FIBA Asia Championship here on Sunday.

It was the first victory for India in the second stage of the tournament, and the South Asian team has to get at least two victories to survive the stage, reports Xinhua.

Amjyot Singh made as many as 28 shooting attempts throughout the game. He grabbed 11 rebounds and at the same time made three assists besides his game-high 32 points.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Amritpal Singh had 17 and 14 points respectively for India.

Sani Sakakini had the team-best 23 points and 12 rebounds for Palestine. Jamal Abu Shamala hit five three pointers to take home 21 points.

Palestine, who won three games in a row in the first group stage, suffered the first loss at the tournament.

India was bigger in size and Palestine had physical advantage. The two teams played a very close first half.

Palestinian shooter Jamal Abu Shamala was efficient enough to make two out of his three attempts beyond the arc in the first period, and Indian big-man duo Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh combined 13 points. The two sides leveled on 17-17 before India finished first quarter 19-17.

Palestinian captain Sani Sakakini dominated the second quarter, shooting down 11 points in the single period to carry the West Asian team above. India was once leading by 23-19, only to see Palestine hit a 14-3 run. Indian head coach Sat Prakash Yadav called a time out after Palestine’s spurt, and India got rejuvenated. Palestine closed the first half leading 36-32.

Indian shooters played a tough third quarter. They took back the lead after a 11-4 run and finished the period 49-47. Amjyot Singh had eight points in the single quarter and collected a total of 23 points for the first three periods.

India and Palestine tied until 55-55 in the final quarter, and neither team was able to have a convincing advantage. Indian top scorer Amjyot Singh took in charge in the final three minutes. He made two straight baskets in India’s 9-2 run and awarded the team a 69-63 lead.

Palestinian shooter Shamala hit his fifth three-pointer to move to 69-66, but Amjyot Singh responded with another basket to make India safe again. Shamala had a chance to take the game into overtime with two seconds left and ball in hand, but his quick shot beyond the arc missed the target.

India will take on Hong Kong while Palestine will meet Japan on Monday.


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