2015 Asian Championships: China hand India third straight loss
After losing their first two games, the Indian Women’s team entered Day 3 of the 26th FIBA Asia Women’s Championship 2015 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 registered 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 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.”
China (S. Gao 18, S. Huang 13, W. Lu 11) bt India (Poojamol Subhashmon 10, Jeena Skaria 10, Shireen Limaye 6) 102-39 (29-4, 18-11, 35-20, 20-4)