India ease to win over Iraq in Asia Cup 2021 qualifier

The game was a return to Baghdad for Iraq after a lengthy absence

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

India grabbed their first win in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers by spoiling Iraq's homecoming in Baghdad.

The hosts were playing their first game inside Iraq after years of having to play outside the country.

However it was the visiting Indians who grabbed the win, running out victors by a comfortable 94-75 margin.

India establish early control

After going down to a narrow defeat to Bahrain in their opening Group D clash, India were quick to assert their authority in the Al Sheaeb Hall against Iraq.

Iraq's Demario Mayfield put the opening points on the board with a three pointer, but from there on in it was India who established control.

By the end of the first quarter, they led by 26-21.

Iraq did well to stop the visitors from running away with it before half time, as they clawed their way back from sixteen points down with 3:24 remaining in the second quarter to trail 41-47 at the break.

Muin Ben Hafeez stars for India

However, Iraq could not break India's grip on the game, with the influential Muin Bek Hafeez at the heart of the action for the visitors.

The point guard finished with 24 points, including four from downtown as India began to run away with things in the second half of the game.

By the end of Q3 they were up by fifteen points and the dominance continued in the fnial quarter.

After Hafeez succeeded with his final three-pointer of the night, a layup from Aravind Annadurai put the seal on a 94-75 triumph for the visitors.

A much deserved first win for India in their Asia Cup qualifying campaign; now preparations will begin for their first home game.

India are slated to host Lebanon on 26th November.

The top two teams from the six qualifying groups will advance to the final tournament.