Young Cagers lost to New Zealand in their first outing.

The FIBA Asia Cup 2022 is currently underway and is witnessing the top teams fighting for Asian supremacy. Hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia it has the 16 top nations battling it out. The teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each. India is placed in Group D along with New Zealand, Lebanon and the Philippines.

However, India’s work is cut out as they have a tough road ahead of them. All the other teams in the group are ranked higher than India. Moreover, the heavy defeat against New Zealand in the opening game at FIBA Asia Cup would surely seep some doubts into their minds. The Philippines are a formidable opponent, who has won four out of five games against India.

India won their last match against the Filipinos back in 2016 at the FIBA Asia Challenge. It won’t be an easy game by any means for the Young Cagers. In their last encounter, the Gilas Pilipinas won 79-63 at the World Cup Qualifiers. Here’s a look ahead at both teams ahead of their 15th July showdown.

About the Teams

India

India’s opening game against New Zealand was nothing short of a disaster. The Young Cagers looked out of sorts as the Tall Blacks piled on the pressure. The game saw them trailing in every quarter; 12-30, 9-34, 14-16, 12-20. Despite India cutting down the deficit in the last two rounds, it was too little too late. By that time the game was pretty much out of India’s grasp.

However, Arvind Muthu Krishnan’s form would certainly give India more hope. The player scored 13 points for his team. While Muin Ben Hafeez provided 3 crucial assists. Prashant Singh Rawat also grabbed 12 rebounds in the game.

India would surely look to learn from the mistakes they made in the first game of FIBA Asia Cup 2022. Especially losing out on possession midcourt helped New Zealand take a hefty lead. Indian coach Veselin Matic will have to go back to the drawing board and address this issue.

Philippines

The Gilas Pilipinas is ranked 33 in the world and is bound to make things difficult for India. Despite their loss at the hands of Lebanon, the Filipinos put up a good fight. Their match too was more closely contested than the game between India and New Zealand. The Philippines lost the game in a close back-and-forth battle (95-80).

In fact, the Philippines were leading the game after the first quarter. Unlike India, they went neck-to-neck with their opponents. So the Young Cagers have to be wary of a tough game.

Squads

India

Muin Bek Hafeez, Aravind Kumar M Krishnan, Sahaij P Singh, Amarendra Nayak, Vivek V Goti, Kushal Singh, Pranav Prince, Prashant Rawat, Pratyanshu Tomar, Aryan, Amritpal Singh.

Philippines

Rhon Jhay Abarrientos, Bobby Ray Parks, Thirdy Ravena, Poy Erram, Rhenz Joseph Abando, Kiefer Ravena, Francis Lopez, Shaun Geoffrey Chiu, William Navarro, Samjosef Belangel, Karl Kevin Quimbao, Carl Vincent Tomayo

Players to Watch out for

Aravind Muthu Krishnan (India)

Arvind Krishnan bagged 13 points for the team. (Courtesy – FIBA)

Aravind Kumar Muthu Krishnan is the player to watch out for in the Indian team. Krishnan has started the tournament in great form. He single-handedly accumulated 13 points for the country against New Zealand in the very first game at FIBA Asia Cup 2022. That too in a high-pressure game against a quality side.

The 22-year-old consistently shot six two-pointers and a free throw. He is undoubtedly going to stir some problems in the Philippines’ defence. The Philippine side will have to monitor his every move if they hope to win.

Samjosef Belangel (Philippines)

Belangel gathered 17 points for the Filipinos against Lebanon. (Courtesy – Watchman Daily Journal)

From one consistent scorer to another. If India has Krishnan, the Filipinos have Samjosef Belangel. The Bacolod native is also a constant threat to the opposition. The 23-year-old point guard amassed 17 points against Lebanon and looked in great touch.

The son of a former college basketball star, Belangel has inherent talent. It is because of this he averaged 7.38 points and 2.08 assists per contest in his club career. It will be interesting to see him play against India as well as the other teams in the competition.

Broadcast

All the matches of the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 will be live streamed on the Courtside 1891 app and website.

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