Wuhan, China, 31 August 2015: After losing their first two games at the FIBA Asia Championship 2015, the Indian Women’s team entered Day 3 of the tournament set to face home team China at Wuhan. China, the team that finished third at the 2013 championship, came into today’s game against India undefeated after registering wins against Thailand and Korea in their first two games.
While starting point guard Kavita Akula absence has been a big blow to India, they did have the services of veteran guard and their captain Anitha Paul Durai for today’s game after she was rested on Day 2.
India’s Jeena Skaria battles in the paint against China. Image credit: FIBA Asia
India’s starting woes continued as they allowed China to begin the game with an 18-0 run in the first five minutes. The first quarter saw only two buckets from India and ended with China sitting on a 29 to 4 lead. In the second quarter, India showed signs of improvement, restricting China to 18 points and scoring 11 points of their own. But with a 47 to 15 lead entering the second half, India needed a strong comeback to claw their way back in the game. China continued to build on their lead and finished with an easy 102-39 victory.
China outplayed India in almost all departments. Their shooting percentage from the field was close to 43 percent compared to India’s 26.6 percent shooting percentage. Interestingly, India’s turnover rate improved dramatically in this game. After turning the ball over more than 30 times in each of their first two games, India took better care of the ball today with only 18 turnovers. However, their poor shooting and lack of rebounding presence hurt them. China asserted their class in the paint, outrebounding India 65 to 37 and scoring almost half of their points from the paint-area. China’s 6-foot-3-inch centre, Song Gao led the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Their huge leads throughout the game allowed China to showcase their bench depth, with 59 points contributed by bench players.
For India, in addition to the lower number of turnovers, another positive was the offense of Kerala players Poojamol Subhashmon and Jeena Skaria, who both ended up in double digits, scoring 10 points each. Skaria was also India’s leading rebounder with 7 boards.
India’s next game is tomorrow against Thailand, which is expected to be a close contest. Going forward, India’s Coach Francisco Garcia said, “We need to focus on avoiding turnovers and playing aggressive, like we did today against China. If we show the face we did yesterday against Japan, we will lose. If we play like we did against [Chinese] Taipei and China, we will have a good chance tomorrow against Thailand.”
UPCOMING INDIA TEAM GROUP A SCHEDULE FOR 26TH FIBA ASIA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015
|Match||Day and Date||Local Time in Wuhan, China||Indian Standard Time|
|India v. Thailand||Tuesday, 1 September 2015||12:30 p.m.||10:00 a.m.|
|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
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
(City & Country)
*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot
- Team Manager: Mr. Rajendar Manthani
- Team Physio: Mr. Radha Krishna Reddy
- Coach: Mr. Francisco Garcia
- Assistant Coach: Ms. Aparna Ghosh
- Referee: Ms. Snehal Bendke
- Referee: Mr. Rajnarayan Patro
About the FIBA Asia Women’s Championship 2015 & India’s Participation
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.
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.
About Basketball Federation of India
The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information at www.basketballfederationindia.org