Wuhan, China, 30 August 2015: Reigning Asian Champs from 2013, Japan, proved too strong for India on Day two of the 26th FIBA Asia Women’s Championship 2015 that is underway at Wuhan, China. Coming into this game, Japan had beaten Korea in a hard fought 59-53, while India had fallen to Chinese Taipei. Today, the Japanese faced little trouble against a young Indian side missing two of its key backcourt players.

Starting point guard Kavita Akula has been made unavailable for the event due to her college career starting in the U.S. Matters were made harder in today’s game, as India’s most experienced player and captain Anitha Paul Durai was rested as a precautionary measure.

Young guard Bhandavya looks for the pass. Image credit Fiba Asia.

Young guard Bhandavya looks for the pass. Image credit Fiba Asia.

The first quarter began with Japan taking a huge 32-9 lead against India. With the depleted backcourt, the bulk of the playmaking load fell on the young shoulders of 17-year-old Bhandavya HM, who battled hard for close to 35 minutes, the most time spent on court by any player from either team. However, India ended up conceding 36 turnovers, the second straight game with more than 30 turnovers. Japan pounced on these additional opportunities, leaking out for 22 easy fast break points, many of them facilitated by their 19 steals.

Japan also dominated the paint-game, outrebounding India 52-29, with 23 of these rebounds coming on the offensive glass. By halftime, Japan had built a mammoth 63-21 lead. In the second half, Japan showcased their deep bench, which scored a whopping 89 points in total against India’s 13, making this 131-31 win a formality.   Six Japanese players scored in double digits, while for India, Bhandavya and Stephy managed 6 and 5 points respectively.

Centre Rajapriyadarshini drives against Japan. Image credit FIBA Asia.

Centre Rajapriyadarshini drives against Japan. Image credit FIBA Asia.

There were a few relative positives for India, notably their higher freethrow shooting percentage (7/11) and three blocks, two of which came via centre R Rajapriyadarshini. Another individual statistic of note was Smruthi Radhakrishnan’s 4 offensive rebounds, the joint highest among all players, matched only by Japan centre Yuka Mamiya. Radhakrishnan ended as India’s top rebounder with 6 boards.

India will next face another Asian giant and reigning bronze medallist China tomorrow afternoon. Captain Anitha Paul Durai is expected to return to action.

Japan (Mio Shinokazi 25, Mika Kurihara 19, Al Mitani 16) bt India (Bhandavya HM 6, Stephy Nixon 5) 131-31 (32-9, 31-12, 25-6, 43-4)

UPCOMING INDIA TEAM GROUP A SCHEDULE FOR 26TH FIBA ASIA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015

S. No. Match Day and Date Local Time in Wuhan, China Indian Standard Time
2. India v. China Monday, 31 August 2015 5:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m.
3. India v. Thailand Tuesday, 1 September 2015 12:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m.
4. India v. Korea Wednesday, 2 September 2015 12:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m.

INDIAN SQUAD FOR THE 26TH FIBA ASIA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015

Jersey
No
Family Name(s)

/Last Name

First Name(s)

/Given Name

Date of Birth
(dd/mm/yyyy)
Place of Birth
(City & Country)
Height
(cm)
Weight

(Kg)

Position
04 PRASANNAN GEETHA Anjana 09/11/1994 Kollam India 177 56 G/F
06 Stephy Nixon 06/06/1992 Chalakudy India 184 79 C
08 KOCHUPARAMBU SUBHASHMON Poojamol 14/08/1996 Kottayam India 174 64 G/F
10 RADHAKRISHNAN Smruthi 15/04/1992 Thaliyil India 175 68 F
13 PALANILKUMKALAYIL SKARIA Jeena 09/01/1994 Kalpatta India 179 64 F
14 LIMAYE Shireen Vijay 13/12/1995 Pune India 178 69 F
18 HEMMIGE MAHESHA Bhandavya 18/04/1998 Mandya India 163 53 G/F
22 MURALINATH Apporva 02/02/1989 Chennai India 180 68 F
33 RAJAGANAPATHI Rajapriyadharshini 03/01/1994 Salem India 189 72 PF/C
77 PAUL DURAI Anitha 22/06/1985 Chennai India 168 66 G
88 TUDU Sitamani 04/10/1994 Bahalda India 169 58 G/F

*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot

  1. Team Manager: Mr. Rajendar Manthani
  2. Team Physio: Mr. Radha Krishna Reddy
  3. Coach: Mr. Francisco Garcia
  4. Assistant Coach: Ms. Aparna Ghosh
  5. Referee: Ms. Snehal Bendke
  6. Referee: Mr. Rajnarayan Patro

About the FIBA Asia Women’s Championship 2015 & India’s Participation

Tournament Format

This will be the 26th edition of the Asian Women’s Basketball Championship. 12 teams are expected participate in this championship and are divided into two Levels. Level 1 features the top six teams, while level 2 features the remaining six. League matches are conducted within each level and the two bottom placed teams from Level 1 play ‘qualifying matches’ against the two top placed teams from Level 2. The winning teams from these ‘qualifying matches’ qualify to Level 1 for the next edition of this event while the losing two teams are relegated to Level 2.

Simultaneously, the top four Level 1 teams go through to the semi-finals, followed by the finals. A bronze medal match is also played between the losing semi-finalists to determine the third and fourth placed teams. The winning team qualifies for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While the second and third placed teams go through to the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Tournament history

Prior to the upcoming iteration, 25 editions of this biennial championship have been held so far, dating back to 1965. South Korea won the inaugural edition and leads the gold medal tally overall (12 Golds), followed by China (11 Golds) and Japan (2 Golds). India first participated at this event in 1970, and has competed 16 times in total. The Indian women’s team best finish came at the last edition of this Championship in 2013, when we finished 5th. Prior to that, India’s best finish had been 6th place at the 1992, 2009 and 2011 iterations.

Gopalakrishnan R
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