17 February, 2020
28 August, 2021
15 Jagdeep Singh . (IND)
Game Report
to read

India keep Asia Cup hopes alive, Lebanon cliches top spot in Group D

MANAMA (Bahrain) - Two exciting games were played in the Manama bubble to start off the action in Group D with India and Lebanon coming out as victors.

India blew an 8-point fourth quarter lead, but was saved by a buzzer-beating half-court heave by the "Bearded Baba" himself, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, to claim the 81-78 win. Lebanon maintained the consistency of their defensive pressure from start to finish, tiring hosts Bahrain out for a 102-87 victory.


The game between India (2-3) and Iraq (0-5) was tightly contested for most of the way, despite India catching fire with their three-point shooting during different parts of the game to gain sizable leads. India’s biggest lead of 10 was built in the second quarter with Muin Bek Hafeez, Amjyot Singh, and Joginder Singh light it up from downtown (9-15) in the first half alone.

India looked as if they were about to cruise to the win with an 8-point lead in the final stretches of the game, but Iraq went out in the open court to close the gap. With 45 seconds left in the game, Karrar Hamzah knocked down a three-pointer to even things up at 78-78 to set the stage for a dramatic finish.

Iraq had a good shot to complete the upset and claim the win after a missed shot from Jagdeep Singh, placing the ball in Kevin Galloway’s hands for the final blow. However, Galloway turned the ball over with 4 seconds left.

Amjyot claimed the steal, dropped the ball off to Visheh Bhriguvashi, and the rest is history.

Bhriguvanshi drilled in the "three-point floating jump shot" just before the buzzer sounded to give India the win.


Bhriguvanshi made only one three-pointer the entire game and finished with 11 points. Hafeez scored 22 points, 18 of which came in the first half, on 8-12 shooting from the field along with a team-high 7 assists.

Iraq relied on the two-man tandem of Kevin Galloway (24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists) and Ihab Al-Zuhairi (16 points) while Hassan Abdullah (12 points) made key contributions during the comeback attempt.

The win clinches the third-placed spot for India, keeping their hopes to play at the Asia Cup alive. They will now advance to play in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifying Tournament for third-ranked teams. Iraq, on the other hand, are now eliminated from Asia Cup contention.

Bahrain (2-3) never backed down in their rematch against Lebanon (5-0) in a game that eventually decided the top-ranked team in Group D. However, they were unable to withstand the defensive pressure and offensive fire power of the young Lebanon squad.

Lebanon had six players score in double-digits, led by Sergio El Darwich who had 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. They also forced 27 turnovers which they converted to 36 points, proving to be a key factor contributing to the win.

Gerard Hadidian also had a big game for Lebanon with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The hosts of the Manama bubble also distributed their scoring across the board with five players scoring over ten points. In his first game of the Qualifiers, Hasan Mohamed lit up for 20 points on 4 three-pointers to lead the team. Meanwhile, Mohamed Kawaid had yet another all-around performance of 13 points and 7 assists.

Bahrain struggled down in the paint

With the win, Lebanon was able to lock up the top spot in Group D while staying undefeated.