Day 3: Korea, Japan remain unbeaten; China roll past India
JINAN, China (2nd FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Women): Japan handed down a couple of lesson to their Chinese Taipei counterparts while handing out a 107-77 win – their third from as many games – in Level II action on Tuesday.
Korea too won their third game in a row beating SEABA’s Philippines 86-44 before China had India looking hapless in a 125-49 rout.
China and Korea are scheduled to meet on Wednesday and both coaches gave their benches more than ample court time in preparation for the needle encounter.
India attempted to match pace with China in the early part of the encounter, but when China closed the first quarter with a 21-7 run in the latter five minutes, the issue was decisively sealed.
Yang Liwei was wandered around and was content in dishing out a game-high 5 assists.
But with all the players, barring Li Yingyun, putting their names on the scorers’ list, there was no need for any special scoring effort from the most accomplished player in the Chinese roster.
Gong Li led China’s onslaught with 26 points and Yang Hengyu had a double-double – 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Sharanjeet Kaur’s 17 points was the only double-digit sore for India.
“I think we are picking rhythm,” said China coach Wang Guizhi.
“It’s very crucial we hold this momentum especially tomorrow,” she said of the impending clash against archrivals Korea.
“Of course it won’t be an easy game. And they are playing extremely well,” she said.
Anybody who doubted Wang Guizhi’s thoughts had to just watch the manner in which Korean dismantled Philippines in the earlier game.
Korea scored the first eight points of the game and didn’t really look like getting troubled.
All the Korean players scored in an all-round manner with Kim Heejin leading the way with 13 points.
“It has been alright so far, but the next two days are much tougher than what we have played so far,” Korea coach Hu Man Dug said.
Korea line up against last edition’s silver medalists Japan on Thursday.
“This where our real test begins. What we have done so far will begin matter less and less and what we have to do on that particular day will matter from now,” Hu Man Dug said.
Like Korea and China, Japan too exerted their superiority early on.
Ai Yamada (pic above) accounted for 10 of her game’s 23 points in the first quarter as Japan took a vice-like grip on the proceedings and never looked back.
“It’s very important we keep the focus,” said Japan coach Hayashi Shinichiro.
“We have done well so far. I am quite happy with the way the defense is shaping up. The girls have shown a lot of commitment. I hope we can continue in the same vein,” he said.
Chinese Taipei, who have one win to their credit against the unfancied Philippines so far, take on India in a pivotal game – the winners in all probability likely to complete the semifinal line-up.
Chen Yu-hsuan had 21 points.
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Photo: Milad Payami / FIBA Asia