Aussie Gems, China enter semis, book World Cup berths: #FIBAu18Asia

By | November 1, 2018

Australia (in action) beat New Zealand on Thursday. to book a World Cup (u19) berth. Photo by Parameshwar

Bengaluru, 1 Nov 2018: Australian Gems and China stormed into the semifinals of the 2018 FIBA Asia Women’s (under-18) Basketball Championships at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Thursday. On Wednesday, Korea and Japan have already booked two of the four World Cup berths available from this championship topping the pools.

India who topped their pool in Division B had a rest day today.

The FIBA world No. 7 ranked Australia did well to subdue a spirited late-surge by Oceania rivals New Zealand, also called Junior Tall Ferns. Aussie girls won comfortably in the end at 82-66.  China, ranked No 9, got the better of traditional rivals Chinese Taipei at 80-53.

While Australia clash with Japan, China take on the Korea Republic in the semifinals. All these four teams earned a berth to represent FIBA Asia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup (under-19) Basketball Championships to be held in Thailand from July 20 to 28, 2019.

Australia surged into a good lead initially but the Kiwis cut it down and stayed within striking distance. Yet, the taller Australians kept their noses in front with some timely interceptions and effective ‘man-to-man’ marking.

They were quicker in getting points from the turnovers as New Zealand found it tough to recover and regroup. Isobel Anne Anstey and Miela Goodchild produced accurate baskets and Australia pulled ahead every time New Zealand reduced the deficit. At one point, New Zealand were just five points adrift at 25-30 and then again at 52-57.

But Australia never really went flat out. They hardly adopted the full court press and were content to attack at intervals but when they did choose to, they were the swifter on the counter though New Zealand did their best to match them.  

Jazmin Pamela Shelley and Samantha Kate Simmons provided some wonderful assists with their intricate passing which the Kiwis had no clue about for Anstey and Goodchild to dip the ball into the nets. Their interceptions prevented the hitherto high-scoring New Zealand duo of Charlisse Leger-Walker and Charlotte Whittaker from finding the target.

Australia then pulled away to a 15 point lead and wrapped it up at 82-66 to win comfortably in the end.

China pummel Chinese Taipei

The opportunism of the lanky Yutong Liu inside the paint and accuracy of Yuyan Li outside it served China admirably. Add the dashing ability of Yuan Li and China dominated the proceedings without having to press the accelerator all along.

They moved with precision opening up passing options galore. And when there was none to receive them their shooting ability saw them through. Yutong camped inside the paint and picked up rebounds to drop the ball in, frequently. Or else she burst in and provided passing options and made no mistake when she was provided the passes.

All this enabled China to build up sizeable leads and were never really hard pressed in maintaining it.  China also covered up very well and forced their opponents to keep the ball longer. And at the approaching possibility of the hooter at 24 seconds, the Taipei players tried to drop in long shot but invariably were off target. In any case, China were far too superior and won untroubled.  

Kazakhstan, Hong Kong enter semis

In Division B, Riding on Inna Kulikova’s game-high score of 26 baskets, the 44th ranked Kazakhstan defeated Iran 71-56 at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium to enter the semi-finals and will meet Syria.

Hong Kong defeated Singapore comfortably 67-37 at the same venue to also make the last four and set up a clash with hosts India.   


Qualification to semifinals:

Australia 82 (Isobel Anne Anstey 13, Miela Goodchild 13, Jazmin Pamela Shelley 11, Samantha Kate Simmons 10) beat New Zealand 66 (Ella Bradley 14, Tayla Dalton 10)).

(23-15, 18-10, 24-19, 17-22).

China 80 (Yuan Li 20, Yuyan Li 16, Yutong Liu 10) beat Chinese Taipei 53 (Yu-Chieh Chen 16).

(27-14, 19-10, 12-13, 22-16)

Classification matches (7th and 8th):

Indonesia 86 (Tricia Mary Aojis 22) beat Malaysia 35 (Sin Jie Tan 13).

(16-6, 25-9, 27-11, 19-9).


Qualification to Semi-finals:

Iran 56 (Fatemeh Aghazedagan Ghazvini 12) lost to Kazakhstan 71 (Inna Kulikova 26).

(17-20, 5-16, 10-14,m 24-21).

Hong Kong 67 (Wing Nga Poon 18) beat Singapore 37 (Briana Bao Yu Lee 10).

(14-6, 15-9, 21-7, 17-15)

Classification matches (7th and 8th):

Guam 48 (Mia San Nicolas 24) lost to Samoa 62 (Kalista Niu 19); (14-6, 16-21, 7-23, 12-12).



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