Basketball and India

SABA Championship 2021: Favourites India cruise to sixth title after undefeated run

Going into the SABA (South Asian Basketball Association) Championship 2021, which was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from Nov. 16-19, Team India were heavy favourites.

Having won the title five previous times, each time they had participated, Team India were ranked 78th in FIBA Men's World Rankings while none of their opponents in this competition were ranked higher than 132nd.

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With only four nations participating, the team at the top of the round-robin games would be crowned champion. Here's a look at how India fared in the four-nation competition:

India's results from SABA Championship 2021

Despite playing three games in four days, Team India cruised to their sixth SABA Championship by winning each of three games.

Team India blew out each of their opponents, winning their three games by an average margin of 62.7 points.

Date, Day Final Score
Nov. 16, Tuesday India 88-31 Maldives
Nov. 17, Wednesday India 114-48 Sri Lanka
Nov. 19, Friday India 106-41 Bangladesh

This is India's sixth SABA title in as many appearances having also won the competition in 2002, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Prior to the FIBA's new qualification system for the continental cups, enforced in 2017, this competition served as a means of qualification for India to notable FIBA events such as the FIBA Asia Championship and the FIBA Asia Cup.

Despite raising the championship trophy and receiving the medals once again, the significance of this victory is not known given the rankings of their opponents - Maldives (142), Sri Lanka (132) and Bangladesh (146).

Player reactions after title

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A post shared by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (@bhriguvanshi)

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A post shared by Amjyot aka Sultan of Swat (@amjyot.gill)

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Feature Image courtesy: Basketball Federation of India/ Twitter

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