New Delhi [India], August 11 (ANI): The Indian basketball team will play their final qualifying tournament for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 on August 20 and August 21 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
India has been drawn in Group H with Saudi Arabia and Palestine. The top two teams in the group will progress to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021, which will be held in Jakarta in July next year. India will play Saudi Arabia on August 20 and Palestine on August 21, as per Olympics.com.
As Indonesia, the host country of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021, is guaranteed its berth for the main event, Group G will consist of Guam and Chinese Taipei. The two teams will play twice on August 26 and 28 in Mangilao, Guam. The outright winner will qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021. The first game between Guam and Chinese Taipei will tip-off at 19:00 GMT+10, while the second game will start at 14:00 GMT+10.
The Indian basketball team was unable to qualify in the first round of qualifiers, finishing third in Group D. A top-two finish would have given India a direct passage to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021.
However, India secured the third spot with a buzzer-beater 81-78 victory over Iran in February, which allowed them another chance by going to the final qualifying tournament. World No. 76 India is ranked better than both Saudi Arabia (world No. 93) and Palestine (world No. 89) and will start as favourites on paper in the final qualifying tournament for third-ranked teams.
Thirteen countries have already qualified for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021. Two from Group H (Saudi Arabia, India, and Palestine) and one from Group G (Guam and Chinese Taipei) will finalise the 16 teams. (ANI)