New Delhi (8 August 2015): Hoping to end their campaign on a winning note, India nonetheless lost to Level 2’s top team Hong Kong in the final qualifying game of the 4th FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Women 2015. India (0-6) has now been relegated to lower Level 2, while Hong Kong (6-0) will replace India in Level 1 as the 6th placed team for the next edition of this event, two years from now.
The match began neck and neck with Hong Kong leading by a slender four points at the end of the first quarter. Hong Kong did an excellent job of keeping the Indian offense at bay, restricting India to just 22 points in each half. Rutuja Pawar top scored with 19 points, to go along with her nine rebounds, while for Hong Kong, three players scored in double digits. Yet again, India was guilty of turning the ball over too often (27 versus Hong Kong’s 13) leading to significantly higher field goal attempts for their opponents. Hong Kong also had twice as many offensive rebounds as India (22-11) which in turn led to multiple second chance opportunities.
Earlier during the course of the Championship, Head Coach Abhay Chavan had indicated to FIBA.com, the need for more preparation to compete in an event of this magnitude. “Don’t forget that all the girls participating in this tournament have no international experience or exposure, winning or losing is not the issue here for me, but learning and gaining experience is what matters.”
India (Rutuja Pawar 19 pts & 9 rbs, Shrishti Suren 6 pts & 8 rbs) lose to Hong Kong (Nga Man Christie Wong 18 pts & 9 rbs, Sheung Hok Lau 14 pts & 10 rbs, Nga Man Shek 12 pts) 44-66 [11-15, 11-18, 13-18, 9-15]