Siddarth Sharma - sidbreakball

India downs Indonesia 90-74, 5 Takeaways | FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament

Published on
August 13, 2023

India defeated Indonesia 90-74 in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament. India were led by Muin Bek Hafeez's 15 points. Sahaij Sekhon added 14 and Arvind Krishnan scored 13 as seven players scored 8 points or more for India.

With this win, India joins Bahrain at the top of the table in Group A with 2 wins and 0 losses thus far.

Here are 5 takeaways from this game.

1 - Rabbit Run the break

Sahaij Sekhon attacked the rim over and over, making all 4 of his free throws en route to 14 points. Image - FIBA.

Pre-eminent rapper and poet B-Rabbit from 8-Mile had a strategy of taking what his opponents used against him, and flipping it on them. After years of watching opponents' forcing India into turnovers and getting points off of them, it's especially gratifying to see the Indian team turn the tables with a mix of youth and experience as we pressure our opponents into turnovers leading to high-flying finishes.

India had 9 steals and 4 blocks, and outrebounded Indonesia 47-30. Whenever Indonesia made a run, India's flurry of transition offense staunched the bleeding.

Rabbit, RUN!

2 - Serbian Sages

Indian team head coach Veselin Matić. Image - Sidbreakball

One day after a coach born to a Serbian father entered the The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, we now see two coaches from Serbia going up against each other in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament.

Gregg Popovich, president of the San Antonio Spurs and the NBA's all-time winningest coach, just entered the Hoop Hall, and you shouldn't miss his heartfelt speech.

India is coached by Veselin Matić, and Indonesia has Milos Pejic at the helm. There's something to be said about Serbian ancestry and basketball coaching excellence.

3 - Arvind Krishnan breaks out, again

Arvind Krishnan
Arvind Krishnan had an alley-oop finish among his 13 points. Image - FIBA

At one point the broadcast mentioned India getting an unlikely source of offense from Arvind Krishnan, as he had played just 4 and a half minutes yesterday vs Syria. Arvind is one of India's most explosive scorers, when I didn't see him play much vs Syria, a part of me was giddy with anticipation of what a fresh AK would spray on the court.

Arvind didn't disappoint as he had 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists for India. He made all 5 of his shots including two 3-pointers.

4 - Strong start for India

At the end of the 1st quarter, India led 25-16, and the lead grew to 50-36 at the end of the 1st half. India had 25 points in the 1st and 2nd quarter each, with 12 assists to 6 turnovers, and held Indonesia to 41% shooting from the field.

Arvind Krishnan led India with 12 points in the 1st half, Prince added 10. Nine players were on the scoreboard for India at the half. Indonesia put up a run and cut the lead to 10 points in the 3rd quarter with their two best players Bolden and Sabutera on the bench, but the outcome never seemed to be in doubt. India had a 14-point lead going into the 4th quarter, the lead was never relinquished.

5 - Unselfish play

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi vs Indonesia
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi had 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for India. Image - FIBA

India had 4 players in double figures and seven players scored 8 points or more. Credit to the players and the coaching staff for establishing an unselfish culture around the team. When players play unconcerned about personal stats and play for each other, the result is beautiful basketball.

India had 23 assists on 36 made field goals, with captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Muin Bek Hafeez dishing 5 dimes each. Pranav Prince added 4 assists along with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

Palpreet led India in rebounding with 9 boards, Annadurai added 8 and Amjyot pulled down 6 boards.

Indonesia were led by the 6'10" Marques Bolden, an American-born Indonesian player with NBA G-League Experience who put up 23 points along with 9 rebounds. Two players scored in double figures for Indonesia.

Bolden was coming off a 40-point game and faced a strong challenge from India's bigs with Palpreet Brar, Amaan Singh, Amjyot Singh and Aravind Annadurai taking turns containing him.

India will next face Kazakhstan on 14th Aug. You can stream the action on Courtside app - Stay tuned for the recap here and on my Instagram page - Sidbreakball.

Siddarth Sharma - sidbreakball

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