Indian basketball team qualifies for FIBA Asia Cup 2021

India will make their 10th-consecutive appearance in the FIBA Asia Cup. The continental tournament will be played in Indonesia in July next year.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by FIBA Media

The Indian basketball team has qualified for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 after finishing second behind Saudi Arabia in Group H of the final round of qualifiers.

India managed three points in their two games in Group H of the qualifiers. They had lost to Saudi Arabia and then beat Palestine after mounting a late comeback.

Saudi Arabia then beat Palestine 96-72 on Sunday to secure the top spot in Group H with four points. It kept Palestine third in the group and with only the top two teams advancing to the main event, India and Saudi Arabia made it through.

This will be India’s tenth-consecutive appearance in the FIBA Asia Cup. Since 1965, India have participated in every edition of the FIBA Asia Cup basketball barring 1993 and 1999. 

A fourth place finish in 1975 remains India’s best showing at the continental event till date. Australia are the defending FIBA Asia Cup champions while China are the most successful team in the tournament with 16 titles.

The FIBA Asia Cup 2021 was initially scheduled for August 2021 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, in July 2022, with the exact dates yet to be determined.

A total of 16 teams will compete in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021.

The Philippines, South Korea, China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iran, Syria, Jordan and Kazakhstan - a total of 12 teams - and hosts Indonesia had qualified after the first round of qualifiers.

India and Saudi Arabia’s qualification have now made it 15 teams, with the 16th and final team to be decided by two qualifying matches between Guam and Chinese Taipei, which take place next week.