Australian Gems trounce Indonesia 96-28; China drub Malaysia: FIBA U18 Asian Basketball

By | October 28, 2018

Isobel Anne Anstely, #15, the top scorer today, talking to injured Lilly at half time break in Bangalore on Sunday. Photo by Indian Sports team

Bengaluru, 28 Oct 2018: Favourites Australian Gems began their campaign with a resounding win beating minnows Indonesia 96-28 in the opening match of the FIBA under-18 women’s Asian Basketball Championship at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

Later in the second match on Sunday, giants China drubbed Malaysia 102-28 with Mingling Chen topscoring with 19 points.

Isobel Anne Ansley sparkled for the Aussie Gems scoring 29 points and was ably supported by Nnenna Agnes Emma Nnopu and Ashley Hannan who basketed 12 points each. Earlier, Agnes Emma and Juliva Malaeula Moluga began on a rousing note as Gems took a comfortable lead of 23-2 by the end of first period.

Mela Goodchild who scored 10 points in the Gems’ first match against Indonesia on Sunday. Aussies won 96-28.

Despite playing at a relaxed pace the Gems were never threatened and went into the half time with a 44-12 advantage. Agnes Emma was off in the third period but skipper Shelley and Ashlee Hannan took over to increase the tally to 67-21 at the end of third period and went on to win 96-28.

Australian coach Deanne Butler said : “I am happy to come away with the win. We had limited time together with all the players. But we are ready for the challenge.’’

Traversing the new qualification system and participating in the Asia events for the first time in this age-group, the Gems aim to finish in the top four to advance to the 2019 Under-19 World Cup in Thailand next year. They girls want to replicate the Emus’ performance from earlier this month and look favourites to claim the gold medal with China and Japan touted to give them a tough fight.

The Gems had two camps at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence and the team is selected from a pool of top-18 players which included Isobel Anstey, Agnes Emma-Nnopu, Isabel Palmer, Ashlee Hannan and Lily Scanlon who won bronze with the Australian Sapphires at this year’s Under-17 World Cup. Agnes Emma top scored in the opener along with Ashlee Hannan with 12 points each, closely supported Emma Clarke who sank 11 points.  Isobel Anstey top scored with 20.  Injured Lilly Scanlon did not take to the court today and may not play in the next game too.

Anstey Hannan, alongside Jazmin Shelley, have also been announced as Deakin Melbourne Boomers players in the WNBL while Miela Goodchild represented the Championship-winning JCU Townsville Fire last season.

While experienced Goodchild was in her elements today, other stars skipper Shelley and Samantha Simons played a subdued game picking up towards the end. The trio were in the gold-medal winning Sapphires team two years ago at the Under-17 World Cup. Shelley and Simons also competed for the Gems at the Under-19 World Cup in Russia last year.

The Gems qualified for the Under-18 Asian Championships by winning gold at the Under-17 Oceania Championships last year in Guam.