The Indian men’s basketball team went down 95-63 to Lebanon in Group E of the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers at the Indoor Kanteveera Stadium, Bengaluru on Monday.
Pranav Prince was the top-scorer for India with 19 points while Jonathan Arledge responded with 21 points for Lebanon.
The Indian hoopsters opened the scoring but Lebanon hit their stride soon, taking a 27-17 in the first quarter.
India, ranked 82nd, clawed back early in the second quarter, reducing the deficit to 23-28. However, world No. 54 Lebanon’s superior attacking prowess ensured they led 49-29 by half-time.
Lebanon swelled that lead to 71-42 in the third quarter and steadily increased it by the end to ensure a comfortable win.
India’s next set of games will be against Saudi Arabia on November 10 and Lebanon on November 13.
The Indian basketball team is yet to win a match in the qualifiers. India lost all their four games in the first round and so far have lost two matches in the second round. They have four more matches left.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers will conclude in February next year.
India have never qualified for the main draw of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in the 18 editions held so far.