On Day 6 of the Basketball fixtures at the 2018 Asian Games, the Indian Women's Basketball Team lost their second game in as many games. In an early fixture on Sunday, the Indians went down to Chinese Taipei by 23 points having already lost their opening game at the tournament against Kazakhstan [61-79] on Friday.
Beating Chinese Taipei was always going to be difficult, not only given their World Rank of 40 but also their record in the tournament prior to facing India. They were 2-0 through two games which included a 30-point win against Kazakhstan [72-42] and an OT win [87-85] against the highly ranked Unified Korean team.
A Tale of Two Halves
Despite the competition, the Indians looked really strong in the first half. After 20 minutes of action, they trailed Group X table toppers only by five points but the Chinese Taipei blew the game open in the third quarter by outscoring the Indians 31-17 in the period.
In the first half, the pace of the game was really slow and the Taipei squad missed close to 10 sitters, something that allowed the Indians to stay in the game despite their 11 turnovers at halftime. The Indians also made repeated trips to the free-throw line, making 11-of-15 from the line while the Chinese Taipei had only attempted one at halftime. There were talks of upset in commentary all through the first half but when it mattered Chinese Taipei just took their game to another level, something the Indians couldn't contend with.
While Indians committing turnovers remained the same in the second half , everything else changed. Chinese Taipei started pressing on defense and forced the Indians into turnovers, that led to easy buckets in transition.
For the second time in as many games, the Indian captain - Jenna Skaria led the scoring charts with 13 points in this loss after register 15 points in the loss on Friday. Two other players had recorded double-digit points - Sangeeta Kaur - 11 and Raspreet Sidhu - 12.
In terms of stat categories, the Indians were better than their opponents in only two - defensive rebounds [32 > 31] and 3-point shooting percentage [32% > 25%]. The numbers that hurt the most are turnovers [23 > 11]. India committed 23 turnovers after turning it over 20 times against Kazakhstan.
Despite losing both their games so far, the Indians are still in contention for a Quarterfinal spot as four of the five teams in Group X progress to the knockout stages. At the time of writing, Indonesia was yet to play its second group game, scheduled for later on Sunday. Unless they win that game against Kazakhstan, India will remain at the fourth spot in the group.
India plays its next fixture within 24 hours at 8:30 AM IST on Monday against the Unified Korean Team before capping off their Asian Games group schedule with the Indonesia fixture on 23rd August at 4:00 PM IST.