It was a do-or-die struggle for the Indian basketball team today against Thailand in the FIBA Asian Women’s Championship. The contest between the two sides ended pretty close, but in favour of Thailand with a scoreline of 65-63.
The start of the game brought similar feelings to the fans who had been following the tournament as India entered a trail before opening the scoring.
India outclassed by Thailand in the opening quarter
As the game began, both teams were desperate for a win and it was Thailand that proved its dominance early in the game. Thailand took an early lead of seven points in the opening quarter and hurt the Indian players’ morale, subsequently inflicting heavy damage on their performance.
The quarter ended as the scoreline read 21-14 against the Indian team. It was an uphill task for India from thereon, facing an equally determined opposition in a must-win encounter.
The heavy trail also put India under immense pressure to bounce back in search of their first victory at the FIBA Asian Women’s Championship.
India attempt fight back at FIBA Asian Women’s Championship
Fans were not very hopeful of anything positive after the opening quarter. And the Indian team had its back against the wall. They attempted a comeback to fight the seven point trail and almost succeeded during both the second and the third quarter.
Indian caught up with Thailand in the final minutes of the second quarter. But by the end of the quarter Thailand had regained a four point lead. Having given up the opportunity to lead, India once again restored parity at the end of the third quarter at 48 points.
Now, it was all down to the final quarter, as both the teams stretched the fierce battle to outwit each other. They were neck-to-neck at 61-60 as Thailand scored both their free throws to take the lead, with just the final minute to go. At that stage, it could have well been anybody’s game.
Ten seconds to turn the game
As the game entered its dying seconds, India’s R Rajaganapathi missed a crucial two-pointer that could have given India the lead with ten seconds on the clock as India trailed 62-63. That was not the end for India, as a personal foul from AP Geetha led to two more free throws that stretched the lead for Thailand with just 6 seconds left on the clock.
The game was almost over, but Indians were presented with one last ray of hope. A personal foul from Thailand’s A Maithom led to three free throws. However, the Indian captain AP Durai could only manage to secure one point from it and a missed two pointer in the final second from the rebound ended India’s hopes of securing a victory against Thailand.