Despite a crazy and unfair schedule, play goes on.
NEPAL 79-53 BHUTAN (24:13, 44:26, 60:39)
The first game was in the morning, and it was between Nepal and debutant Bhutan. Bhutan played alright for the first 15 minutes, being down only 7, but the experience and skill of the Nepalese players was the big difference today. Nepal played good perimeter defense and forced Bhutan to try and win the battle down low. Bhutan head coach Texin Jatsho was not happy with the game and added that the team has only practiced together for two weeks. Nepal head coach Dinesh Nakarmi said the team won as expected and that Bhutan lacked the techincal skill.
Nepal was led by #4 starter Sadish Pradhan, who in 35 minutes of play scored a game-high 21 points on 9/25 shooting, 4 rebounds, and a game-high 4 assists but turned the ball over 8 times. #13 (also a starter) Bayangankar Sr. had 18 points and 9 rebounds. #5 Binod Maharjan scored 15 points and 10 rebounds. Vikram Joshi grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in 20 minutes.
In the losing effort, the Bhutanese were led by #12 Galden Chophel (33 minutes, 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks), #4 Phuntsho Tsher (12+10, 2 assists, 8 turnovers though), and #14 Tshering Penjor (8 points, 8 rebounds).
Points in the paint were pretty even (38-36 Nepal) as were bench points (15-11 Nepal) and points off turnovers (10-8 Bhutan). Nepal outscored Bhutan on the break 6-0 and grabbed more rebounds (60-44). Nepal also did well in shutting down Bhutan defensively, holding them to only 30% shooting, including a measly 2/17 from 3 pt land (12%). Nepal though wasn't exactly lights out from the perimeter either (3/17, 18%), nor did they protect the ball (24 turnovers to only 22 for Bhutan) but they did well in not giving away fouls and making nearly 50% of their two point field goals. Bhutan played Bangladesh later in the evening while Nepal plays tomorrow vs. Bangladesh in the morning. Both Bangladesh and Nepal will play a semi final game in the evening as well.
Game 2 featured India and Sri Lanka, both teams who advanced to the semi final by Pakistan not making it to New Delhi. This game was played merely for seeding purposes; and India made no doubts about who was the better team. New head coach Kenny Natt has been implementing an NBA style offense and a tenacious defense. Today just showed that India is still 50 points better than Sri Lanka and India was able to reel off a 16 point run, and play its' entire squad today. Sri Lanka's lack of height really showed today as India dominated the paint.
INDIA 99-42 SRI LANKA (32:5, 60:20, 86:34)
India had 5 players hit double figure scoring, led by Vishesh Briguvanshi (16 point). Jagdeep Singh (5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) and Prakash Mishra off the bench (5 rebounds, 3 assists) poured in 15 points. Young Cager Amritpal Singh in his first appearance for the national team scored 10 points as did 7'3 junior center Satnam Singh. Sambhaji Kadam dished a game high 7 assists.
RR Suranga Fernando led Sri Lanka with 11 points and grabbed three rebounds. Sidath Sinanayaka scored 10 points and collected 4 rebounds.
India just dominated in every facet of the game. India outshot Sri Lanka (61%-30%), scored more points off turnovers (8-2), scored more points in the paint (32-4), had more second chance points (15-2), had more points off the bench (58-9), grabbed more rebounds (41-20), dished more dimes (25-10), had more steals (7-5) and had more blocks (4-1). All around domination by India.
Tomorrow India will square off against the loser of the Nepal-Bangladesh game while Sri Lanka gets the winner of the Nepal-Bangladesh clash.
In the final game of the day, Bangladesh eliminated Bhutan 92-59. Bhutan is eliminated from the tournament and the 2011 FIBA Asia championship. Statistics have not yet been released. More details to come...