Gold Coast, April 5 (IANS) Cameroon made an astonishing comeback to outplay India 96-87 in men’s preliminary round Pool B basketball match while Indian eves also suffered a loss 57-66 to Jamaica in the opening day of the Commonwealth Games here on Thursday.
After scoring 27 points in the first quarter and then 36 in the second quarter, India only accumulated 24 in the entire second half against Cameroon.
At one point India were leading by 24 points but an impressive game from Arnold Akola (21 points) and Robert Songolo (17 points) saw a comeback from Cameroon.
For India, Amjyot Singh scored 23 points while Justin Selvaraj and Joginder Singh scored 14 points. Aravind Annadurai scored 15.
Coming into the match, India started off perfectly, pressing the defence. Starting with star players Amjyot and Satnam Singh in the playing five, India took full advantage for it. Soon they managed to take the healthy lead of 12 points and maintained it through the quarter.
The second quarter saw some brilliant attacking from forwards Gill and Annadurai. Apart from them, guards Justin Joseph and Joginder Singh also combined for 25 points.
At the halftime India carried a 24 point lead (63-39) with the 26-year-old Gill scoring 14 points to lead the chart. Till that time centre player Satnam Singh was not at his scoring best as he only managed to score five points.
India begin the second half in a more attacking way, by netting a three-pointer within few seconds. But soon after that, Cameroon went on a 10-2 run as they managed to cut the lead of 16 points making it 54-70.
At the end of the third quarter, Cameroon outscored India completely by some attacking game-led by Akola. India, on the other hand felt the pressure but somehow kept the opponents at bay, keeping 14 points lead.
Cameroon kept the momentum in the fourth quarter, by bringing the gap down to just seven points (76-83). And towards the middle they made a supereb comeback and took one point lead (84-83) and then made 91-85 thanks to Kome and Songolo.
After that Cameroon never looked back and swelled their overall lead with each minute passing to clinch the game.
India now have to win their both remaining matches if they want to advance to the next round.
Earlier, Jamaica defeated Indian eves 66-57.
Right from the word start, India never looked in the contention as they were outplayed in every department of the game.
Captain Shireen Limaye (18 points) and power forward Jeena Skaria (12 points), however, tried to make things even but failed in doing due to lack of support.
Jamaica won the rebounding battle handsomely which include 19 offensive rebounds.
Indian eves will now play Malaysia on Saturday and New Zealand on April 8.