New Delhi/Bengaluru, 13th November, 2016: The India U18 women’s team has begun its campaign at the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women in Bangkok, Thailand.

The side opened with a tough 58-67 loss to hosts Thailand and will face defending champs China tomorrow (14th November, 3:30 pm IST).

India lose to Thailand 58-67

India U18

Priyanka Prabhakara was India’s most efficient performer vs Thailand. Image credit- FIBA. 

The last time the two teams faced off was in the previous 2014 edition, with Thailand prevailing 68-62. This latest go around started on an even keel, with both teams tied at 6-6 early on. That’s when the tables began to turn as Thailand outscored India 13-7 to end the first quarter with a 19-13 lead.

In the second frame, the Thai upsurge continued, with the hosts counter attacking with ease. Thailand’s man to man defence had India in a ton of trouble, as its half court offense was reduced to 1-5 pick and rolls at the top of the key, ending with point guard Nishanti repeatedly spotting up from outside. Nishanti though, was unable to connect frequently enough. Thailand also controlled the glass, outrebounding India for multiple second chance buckets. The lopsided period ended with Thailand outscoring India 26-7 to go into halftime with a seemingly unassailable 45-20 lead.

Despite the scoreline, India Coach Shiba Maggon remained vocal and upbeat from the sidelines, knowing it was only a matter of time before her star players found their mojo. Led by Captain HM Bhandavya, shooting guard Priyanka and Nishanti, the side launched an inspired comeback in the third. All three scored in double digits, with Priyanka being the most efficient performer, notching up a double double of 15 points and 16 rebounds. The errors of the first twenty minutes had vanished, as India outscored Thailand 13-7 and 25-15 in the second half.

Defensively, the insertion of centre Nimmi George strengthened India’s interior presence. In under 23 minutes of action, George had 11 rebounds (including 5 on the offensive end), as well as accounting for all 3 of India’s blocks.

The key turning point came at the start of the fourth quarter. After trailing by as many as 25 points at one stage, Bhandavya’s back to back threes brought India within 7 points of the hosts. But Thailand did well to hold its nerves in front of a raucous home crowd, closing out the 67-58 opening win.

With the tall and imposing three time defending champs China up next, India’s starting bigs will do well to match the play of their guard teammates.

Thailand (Rattiyakorn Udomsuk 14 pts & 11 reb, Kanokwan Prajuapsook 11 pts & 15 reb) bt India (Priyanka Prabhakara 15 pts & 16 reb, Bhandavya HM 17 pts, Nishanti Masilamani 15) 67-58 [19-13, 26-7, 7-13, 15-25]

India’s Upcoming Schedule [Timings in IST]

vs China – 14th November, 3:30 PM

vs Chinese Taipei – 15th November, 3:30 PM

vs South Korea – 16th November, 3:30 PM

vs Japan – 17th November, 3:30 PM

Rest Day – 18th November

Knockout and Placement Rounds – 19th and 20th November

For more details see: http://www.fiba.com/asia/u18women/2016/fullschedule

About the 23rd FIBA U18 Asia Championship 2016

The 23rd FIBA U18 Asia Championship 2016 is taking place in Bangkok, Thailand, from the 13th to the 20th of November.

The top 3 teams will represent Asia at the 2017 FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship in Cairo, Egypt.

Format

The 12-team event has been split into two levels: upper Level 1 (or Group A) and lower level 2 (Group B):

Level 1 (Group A) Teams: China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, India and hosts Thailand

Level 2 (Group B) Teams: Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Indonesia

This is a league cum knockout format. The group phase of the tournament will be played in a round-robin format, with each team playing every other team in their group.  The top four teams from Group A progress to the semifinals, while the bottom two Group A teams will play relegation matches with the top two teams from Group B.

For more information:  http://www.fiba.com/asia/u18women/2016/competition-system

Championship History

The FIBA U18 Asia Championship was first instituted in 1970 and the inaugural edition of the tournament took place in Seoul, South Korea. Coming into this 23rd edition, China and Japan are the three time defending champions and first runners up respectively.

India’s Past Record

Prior to the upcoming 23rd edition, India has participated in the tournament 13 times and has also hosted it once (New Delhi, 2000). India’s best performance at the event came in 1980 when it was placed 4th.

Thereafter the side went into a bit of a lull, getting relegated to lower Level 2 by the end of the 2008 edition. In 2012, the team climbed back into upper Level 1 where it has continued to compete till date.

India will be looking improve upon its 6th place finish in the last edition of the championship (in 2014).

Indian Squad

The team is being captained by the talented Bhandavya HM (who had already debuted on the senior team last year) and coached by the seasoned Shiba Maggon, a former India Women’s Captain.

Indian Squad for the 23rd FIBA U18 Women’s Championship 2016

Jersey
No
Family Name(s)

/Last Name

First Name(s)

/Given Name

Date of Birth
(dd/mm/yyyy)
Place of Birth Height
(cm)
(ft and inches)
Weight (Kg) Position
City State
07 Prabhakara Priyanka 03/10/1998 Nemmara Kerala 177 (5’ 9’’) 54 SG
10 Verma Riya 08/01/1998 Bhilai Chhattisgarh 162 (5’ 3’’) 54 SG
14 Masilamani Nishanti 14/10/1999 Chennai Tamil Nadu 168 (5’ 6’’) 50 PG
15 Sandhu Aakarshan 02/03/1999 Chandigarh Chandigarh 183 (6’) 78 C
20 Pandey Sakshi 30/04/1998 Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh 175 (5’ 8’’) 51 SG
23 Menezes Carina Clarence 27/11/1998 Thane Mumbai 175 (5’ 8’’) 58 SF
27 Hemmige Mahesha Bhandavya 18/04/1998 Mandya Karnataka 166 (5’ 5’’) 56 SG
29 Chakravortty Sushantika 24/08/2000 Delhi Delhi 180 (5’ 10’’) 72 PF
54 George Nimmi 01/04/1998 Chalakudy Kerala 183 (6’) 60 C
75 Illath Parappali Anusha 14/03/1998 Kozhikode Kerala 173 (5’ 8’’) 53 SF
86 Ali Gulabsha 15/02/2000 Bhilai Chhattisgarh 165 (5’ 4’’) 64 PG
99 Suren Srishti 30/04/2000 Chennai Tamil Nadu 180 (5’ 10’’) 59 PF

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

13) Team Manager: Mr. Jugraj Singh Baidwan

14) Physio: Dr. Prachi Bipin Shah

15) Head Coach: Ms. Shiba Maggon

16) Assistant Coach: Mr. Kalva Rajeshaver Rao

17) Referee Supervisor: Mr. Naresh Chander Aneja

18) Referee: Ms. Snehal Vidyadhar Bendke

19) Referee: Mr. Amarjot Singh Mavi

Gopalakrishnan R
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