The Thailand Men’s Basketball National Team escaped with a close-fought 87-86 victory at the expense of Mongolia in their opening match at the 18th Asian Games.

Far from favorites entering the game, the Thais surprised the Mongolians with early 12-point lead to end the opening quarter, but the latter was able to rally back and cut the deficit to two before intermission. The second half was a very close battle between the two teams but Thailand was able to survive a last-ditch fourth quarter push by the Mongols to take the one-point victory.

Patiphan Klahan led the team with a double-double output of 18 points and 11 rebounds, including six offensive boards, plus a blocked shot. He also 64 percent from the field. Guards Chitchai Ananti and Tawatchai Suktub added 13 and 11 points for the Thai squad, respectively.

Meanwhile, Mongolia’s top swingman Sangchir Tungalag led all scorers with 26 points and 13 rebounds, despite shooting a measly 18 percent from three-point range. Forward Bilguun Battuvshin also had an impressive outing with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Thailand is set to clash with hosts Indonesia at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Basketball Hall in Jakarta for each team’s second assignment on August 20 at 18:30 (Indonesia time +7 GMT).

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