FIBA Asia Championship Day 2: Indian Women outclassed by Japan
Reigning Asian Champs from 2013, Japan, proved too strong for India on Day two of the 26thFIBA Asia Women’s Championship 2015 that is underway at Wuhan, China. Coming into this game, Japan had beaten Korea in a hard fought 59-53, while India had fallen to Chinese Taipei. Today, the Japanese faced little trouble against a young Indian side missing two of its key backcourt players.
Starting point guard Kavita Akula has been made unavailable for the event due to her college career starting in the U.S. Matters were made harder in today’s game, as India’s most experienced player and captain Anitha Paul Durai was rested as a precautionary measure.
The first quarter began with Japan taking a huge 32-9 lead against India. With the depleted backcourt, the bulk of the playmaking load fell on the young shoulders of 17-year-old Bhandavya HM, who battled hard for close to 35 minutes, the most time spent on court by any player from either team. However, India ended up conceding 36 turnovers, the second straight game with more than 30 turnovers. Japan pounced on these additional opportunities, leaking out for 22 easy fast break points, many of them facilitated by their 19 steals.
Japan also dominated the paint-game, outrebounding India 52-29, with 23 of these rebounds coming on the offensive glass. By halftime, Japan had built a mammoth 63-21 lead. In the second half, Japan showcased their deep bench, which scored a whopping 89 points in total against India’s 13, making this 131-31 win a formality. Six Japanese players scored in double digits, while for India, Bhandavya and Stephy managed 6 and 5 points respectively.
There were a few relative positives for India, notably their higher freethrow shooting percentage (7/11) and three blocks, two of which came via centre R Rajapriyadarshini. Another individual statistic of note was Smruthi Radhakrishnan’s 4 offensive rebounds, the joint highest among all players, matched only by Japan centre Yuka Mamiya. Radhakrishnan ended as India’s top rebounder with 6 boards.
India will next face another Asian giant and reigning bronze medallist China tomorrow afternoon. Captain Anitha Paul Durai is expected to return to action.
Japan (Mio Shinokazi 25, Mika Kurihara 19, Al Mitani 16) bt India (Bhandavya HM 6, Stephy Nixon 5) 131-31 (32-9, 31-12, 25-6, 43-4)