Australia, China reach semi-finals

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Nov 2018 12:23:03


By Mukund Dhus,


AUSTRALIA and holders China lived up to expectations to reach semi-finals of A division at the 24th FIBA Asia U-18 Women’s Basketball Championship at Bengaluru, on Thursday. They, along with Korea and Japan, have qualified for the U-19 World Cup to be held at Bangkok next year.
The clash of traditional rivals from Oceania region did produce some excitement but seventh placed Australians had the last laugh against 33rd ranked New Zealand.
The winners were sitting pretty at 23 -15 in the first quarter but faced a stiff challenge in the second. Australians missed few easy shots as New Zealand started playing physical reducing the gap to 27-23.

A time out at this juncture helped Australians to regain their composure and once Mela Goodchild and Isabel Palmer started finding the hoop the result was almost clear.
After the change of ends at 41-25, the Australian players combined well to put New Zealand under pressure who committed 10 turnovers in the third quarter.

The Aussies increased their lead to 20 points and hung on to it in the last quarter to emerge deserving winners. Australia’s Isobel scored a double with 13 points and 12 rebounds while New Zealand’s Ella Bradley’s scored 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Tiny 27th ranked Chinese Taipei did give some exciting moments to the China in the first quarter, but once Chinese captain Yuan Li started scoring, she was unstoppable.
Utilising her height, Yutong Liu did bulk of scoring from and was also effective on the defensive board. Though down 24-46 at the breather, the speedy Taipei players continued their fight in the second half, but the holders proved too good for them emerging winners 80-53.
In B division semis India take on Hong Kong on Friday.