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India advance to Asia Cup 2021 Qualifying Tournament for third-ranked teams from Group D

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India advance to Asia Cup 2021 Qualifying Tournament

The cliched last second shot in a basketball match has been portrayed time and again as the epitome of hard work and success. India too had such a moment when it managed to beat the buzzer and score a timely three pointer shot to win the FIBA Asia Cup qualifier game against Iraq. 

It was a combination of tactics, skill and a little bit of luck that eventually gave India the hard fought victory. The initial stages of the game were in favour of Iraq with the first quarter ending at 25-24. India stepped up its defensive game in the next quarter and by the end of it were leading by a gap of 9 points.

The game however went in favour of Iraq again who managed to recover in the penultimate quarter and score a total of 21 points to narrow down India’s lead to 1 point. The real game was in the final quarter with both teams going neck to neck until the buzzer. India managed to give away their 7 point lead in the final three minutes by making several errors and with the resultant turnovers that came Iraq’s way, they managed to level up with India at 78-78. However, the game was still not over and fate was yet to have its say.

The last few seconds turned out to be the turning point in the  game with Amjyot making a steal and Vishesh firing home a crucial three pointer to finish the game at 81-78 in favour of India. All this happened with just a couple of seconds left on the board and it truly was a moment of jubilation for the Indian team.  There were moments in the game which Iraq took control of with their size and physique giving them the extra edge.

The rebound score line was at 40-26 in favour of Iraq and it was the tactical move of forcing errors from Iraq that eventually gave India the advantage in the game. Muin Bek Hafeez was the top scorer for India with a total of 22 points. Guard Vishesh was quoted by the TOI saying “ It was a wonderful three pointer of my life and I am thankful to God that I made this shot”. 

This crucial win for India comes a few months after they lost out to Bahrain who were extremely dominant and ruthless in their assessment against India. Having won the game in the third window of the men’s qualifiers, India will now go on to face Lebanon on Monday hoping for yet another win.