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Bahrain edge India.

MOHAMMED Quwayed was the hero for Bahrain yesterday in a thrilling 82-80 overtime victory over India in their opening game of the 27th Fiba Asia Championship being held in Manila, reports PATRICK SALOMON.

Quwayed buried the game-tying three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to send the contest into the extra five-minute session deadlocked at 70-all.

He also led the Bahrainis with a team-high 25 points.

With the result, Bahrain have virtually assured themselves of a place in the second round, which is a monumental achievement for the kingdom's national team.

The nationals are now ranked in tied-first place on the group 'D' table of the preliminary round. The top three teams at the end of a single round-robin advance to the next stage.

The Bahrainis put on a spectacular comeback in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, when they were trailing 70-61. They held their rivals scoreless the rest of the way, with Quwayed scoring seven of his team's points in the game-changing 9-0 run.

In overtime, Ahmed Abdulaziz then scored seven of Bahrain's output, including one of two free-throws with 11 seconds remaining that pegged the final score.

Just before his charity shot, Mohammed Hussain made a crucial three-pointer that gave the Bahrainis the lead for good, 81-80, with 49 seconds remaining in overtime.

Quwayed shot six-of-12 from the field including two three-pointers. He was also a perfect 11-for-11 from the line.

Naturalised Bahraini big man CJ Giles also had a fine individual performance, contributing 13 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Hussain also finished with 13 markers. He was three-for-nine shooting from beyond the arc.

Abdulaziz scored 11 points in Bahrain's win. He also had six rebounds and five assists in a fine all-around effort. Mohammed Al Derazi was the fifth player in double-figures for Bahrain, finishing with 10 points.

Narender Grewal paced India with 25 points in the loss. Amjyot Singh chipped in with 16 markers and 14 rebounds, while Amritpal Singh had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi added another 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Indians were in command of the tie heading into the fourth quarter, when they enjoyed a 58-52 advantage.

Bahrain managed to tie the proceedings at 58-apiece with seven minutes still to play, but then India put together a 12-3 rally capped by a Grewal basket to take a 70-61 lead. That paved the way, however, for their monumental collapse and Bahrain's brilliant surge.

Bahrain had a bright start to yesterday's game, taking a 25-17 lead after the first period. They continued to stay in front, 37-32, at the half.

The Bahrainis were clearly the better shooting team from the three-point stripe, making nine of their 29 attempts as compared to India's two-for-13. That helped the Bahrainis make up for the huge discrepancy in rebounding, where they were outhustled by the Indians 34-50. The Indians also dominated the inside, scoring 44 points in the paint while Bahrain only had 22.

Bahrain will be hoping to continue their winning ways today but have a mammoth obstacle in front of them in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs were 81-67 winners over Thailand in yesterday's other group 'D' fixture.

Today's game for Bahrain is scheduled to tip off at 1pm, Bahrain time.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Aug 2, 2013
Words:557
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