Wuhan, China, 2 September 2015: The Indian Senior Women’s basketball team has ended its Level 1 campaign with a loss to higher ranked DPR of Korea 121-44 in the 26th FIBA Asia Women’s Championship 2015 at Wuhan, China.

DPR of Korea began with a bang, raking up a 38-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Turnovers, which proved to be a nemesis in the first two games, returned to haunt the Indian girls. Confronted by aggressive pressing defense, India turned the ball over 38 times, leading to 62 points for Korea. The second quarter saw more of the same, with Korea leading 67-20 at halftime.

India had its best defensive quarter in the third, but by then, Korea’s lead had ballooned to 60 points. Kerala forward Jeena Skaria was India’s top scorer for the second straight game. Her 15 points and 9 rebounds performance showed her elite class and underlined arguments that she can be counted among Asia’s finest. Jeena could do little to alter the result though, as six Korean players ended with double digits scores.

Forward Jeena Skaria underlined her credentials against Korea despite the loss. Image credit: FIBA Asia

Forward Jeena Skaria underlined her credentials against Korea despite the loss. Image credit: FIBA Asia

While praising Jeena’s strong show, Coach Francisco Garcia said, “The loss of our point guard [Kavita Akula who had to skip the event in the last minute due to college commitments in the US] was too bad because most of our game strategy revolved around her, and we did not have time to make adjustments.”

39th ranked Indians will now play a qualifiers game next against Level 2’s top team Philippines (ranked 58th in the world) on Friday, to determine whether they stay on in Level 1 for the next edition of the FIBA Asia Championship. “Philippines have a very fast and athletic team. They are at around the same level as Thailand, so I expect an equal game.” said Garcia. “We must win to try and complete our goal here [of retaining our place in Level 1].”

Korea, currently in second place behind Japan in Level 1, is guaranteed of a spot in the semifinals.

DPR of Korea (D Kim 20, J Park 19, A Hong 15) bt India (Jeena Skaria 15, Bhandavya HM 9) 121-44 (38-13, 29-7, 25-12, 29-12)

UPCOMING INDIA TEAM QUALIFYING GAME SCHEDULE FOR 26TH FIBA ASIA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015

Match Day and Date Local Time in Wuhan, China Indian Standard Time
India v. Philippines Friday, 4 September 2015 15:00 p.m. 12:30 p.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 39th world ranked Indian women’s team’s 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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