India defeats China, 65-58.
One would think that’s a cricket match but look again, that’s in basketball, a sports where the Chinese have dominated the region for a number of years. The gigantic upset happened at the 5th FIBA Asia Cup, and adding insult to injury, right at the Chinese homecourt, in Wuhan, China.
Expectedly, India, which is ranked 61st in the FIBA world rankings and 11th in Asia was the underdog entering the game but they pulled the rug underneath the mighty Chinese, which is ranked 12th in the world and No. 1 in the continent.
The win was the first for lone South Asian representative in the tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the bigger, more prestigious FIBA Asia Championship in 2015.
More importantly for India, it was the biggest victory for the country in any international basketball competition.
Behind the upset were Amjyot Singh (13 points), Pratham Singh (13 points), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (10 points) who all finished in double-figure scoring. Shang Gao had 12 points and Hanlin Dong had 12 and 10 markers, respectively for the losers.
“I don’t know what to say, because this (the win against China) has never happened before,” said Bhriguvanshi, who also ended up with 7 rebounds and 7 assists, via FIBAASIA.net. “But we certainly deserved to win. We worked hard for this.”
The Chinese side offered a bit of an excuse but nonetheless credited the Indians the victory.
“Well, this is a young team. Such results are expected,” said Chinese head coach Wang Huaiyu to the official website of the tournament. “They (India) really deserved the win because they certainly played better than us. But our very purpose is to learn from these mistakes. We win some and we lose some at this stage. But every game is a lesson for us.”
Indeed, lesson learned for the Chinese: Never underestimate anyone. Even if the opponents’ primary sport is played on the cricket field and not the hardcourt.