Category: Basketball

India one win away from being crowned SABA U16 Zone Champs

Bengaluru/Kathmandu, 8th September 2017: The Indian U16 men’s team has beaten Nepal 106-39 on the third day of the 2nd SABA U16 Zone Championship being held at the Dashrath Rangshala Stadium, Kathmandu. Centre Princepal Singh from India continued his extraordinary form leading all scorers with 45 points and single-handedly dominating over the Nepal team. Overall, three Indian players scored in double digits.

Team India showcased a strong performance on both the ends of the floor not allowing any more than three Nepal players to score. India had a double digit lead over Nepal from the beginning of the game and finished even stronger.

Moving ahead, the 3-0 India are the strongest contenders for the championship, as they take on Bhutan on 9th September at 11:00 am (10:45 IST) in their final game.

If India wins tomorrow, it qualifies to the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship that will be held in Malaysia later this year.

India (Princepal SIngh 45 pts, Priyanshu 12 pts, Jerome Prince 10 pts) bt Nepal (Abhisekh Singh 20 pts) 106-39 [26-12, 24-7, 32-12, 24-8]

India continues winning streak on second day of 2nd SABA U16 Zone Championship

Bengaluru/Kathmandu, 6th September 2017: The Indian U16 men’s team has beaten Bangladesh 83-64 on the second day of the 2nd SABA U16 Zone Championship being held at the Dashrath Rangshala Stadium, Kathmandu. Forward Priyanshu from India led all scorers with 32 points while India’s topscorer in the previous game, centre Princepal Singh maintained his form and dropped 13 points. Overall, four Indian players scored in double digits.

Bangladesh tried to make a comeback in the second quarter by outscoring India 18-16 but India enjoyed a dominant third quarter to ensure it ended on the winning side.

Moving ahead, India are the strongest contenders for the championship, as they take on Nepal again on 8th September at 13:30 (13:15 IST).

India (Priyanshu 32pts, Binod Rajak 14 pts, Princepal Singh 13 pts) bt Bangladesh 83-64 [26-13, 16-18, 16-9, 25-24]

India Dominates on Day 1 of the 2nd SABA U16 Zone Championship

Bengaluru, 5th September 2017: The Indian U16 men’s team won 152-17 against Maldives on the first day of the 2nd SABA U16 Zone Championship being held in Dashrath Rangshala Stadium, Kathmandu. Centre Princepal Singh from India led all scorers with 31 points while Captain Harshvardhan Tomar chipped in with 24. Overall, six Indian players scored in double digits. For Maldives, captain Md. Hashim contributed 4 points in the loss.

India made a strong opening statement by outclassing Maldives through all the four quarters of the game, both on offense as well as defense. The Indian team didn’t allow the Maldives boys to score in double digits in any single period. Moving ahead, India will be the overwhelming favourites as it takes on Bangladesh tomorrow at 13:00 (12:45 IST).

India (Princepal Singh 31 pts, Harshwardhan Tomar 24 pts, Binod Rajak 20 pts) bt Maldives (Md. Hashim 4 pts, Shamikh Shameen 4 pts) 152-17 [26-7, 41-2, 49-2, 36-6]

Nepal to host 2nd SABA U-16 Championship for Men from tomorrow

Bengaluru, 4th September 2017: The Nepal Basketball Association is all set to host the 2nd SABA U-16 Zone Championship for Men from 5th to 9th September 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal.


India has been drawn in Pool – A alongside Nepal and Bhutan. Pool – B comprises Maldives, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The top two teams from each pool will progress to the knockout stages.


The winning team qualifies to the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship that will be held in Malaysia later this year.


India had not participated in the previous 2015 edition that was won by Bangladesh, yet will start off as favourites. (It is important to be recall that despite not participating in the previous SABA Championship, India had still competed in the 2015 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship as a replacement for a central Asian team that had withdrawn in the last minute.)


India’s preliminary round schedule is as follows:


  • 5th September 2017 – India v. Bhutan 13:00 pm (12:45 pm IST)
  • 7th September 2017 – Nepal v. India 13:00 pm (12:45 pm IST)


The semi-finals will be played on 8th September 2017: the winner of Pool A plays the runner-up of Pool B, and the winner of Pool B plays the runner-up of Pool A. The final will be played on 9th September 2017 at 13:00 pm (12:45 pm IST).


The team is coached by Vibhor Bhriguvanshi, elder brother of Indian senior national team star Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. His assistant coach is Babu Davis. The team will also be accompanied by manager Kulvinder Gill and referee Tanmoy Das.




Jersey. No. Name Position DOB Place of Birth Representing State Height


(ft & inches)



4 Princepal Singh C 03/01/01 Ferozepur, Punjab Punjab 210 (6’ 10.6’’) 95
5 Binod RAJAK PG 02/04/01 Kolkata, West Bengal Punjab 171 (5’ 6’’) 61
6 Harshwardhan TOMAR F/C 01/02/01 Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh 199 (6’ 5’’) 91
7 Mani THAKUR PG 26/10/01 Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh 173 (5’ 6’’) 63
8 Ajmer SINGH C 09/10/01 Delhi Chandigarh 188 (6’ 1’’) 70
9 Gaurav SHEORAN F 10/02/02 Hisar, Haryana Haryana 184 (6’) 73
10 Priyanshu F 18/03/02 Shabga, Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh 183 (6’) 68
11 Jerom PRINCE GEORGE PG 01/10/02 Saudi Arabia Kerala 174 (5’ 7’’) 64
12 Prashant TOMAR PG 05/03/01 Baraut, Uttar Pradesh Karnataka 176 (5’ 7’’) 64
13 Nitish BENIWAL PF 15/02/01 Delhi Delhi 190 (6’ 2’’) 85
14 Vigneshwar UPADHYAY PF 01/01/01 Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh Telangana 193 (6’ 3’’) 75
15 Rajveer Singh BHATI F 26/05/02 Bikaner, Rajasthan Rajasthan 184 (6’) 71

*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Post


Team Manager: Kulvinder Gill

Coach: Vibhor Bhriguvanshi

Assistant Coach: Babu Davis

Referee: Tanmoy Das






Pool – A Pool – B
1. India 1. Maldives
2. Nepal 2. Bangladesh
3. Bhutan 3. Sri Lanka


5th Sept 2017 (Tuesday)

Game No. Match Game Time

(In local Nepal time)

1. India vs. Bhutan 13:00 PM
2. Maldives vs. Bangladesh 15:30 PM


6th Sept 2017 (Wednesday) (Formal Opening of the Championship)

Game No. Match Game Time
Opening Ceremony 13:00 PM
3. Bhutan vs. Nepal 13:00 PM
4. Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka 15:30 PM


7th Sept 2017 (Thursday)

Game No. Match Game Time
5. Nepal vs. India 13:00 PM
6. Sri Lanka vs. Maldives 15:30 PM


7th Sept 2017 (Friday) (Semifinals)

Game No. Match Game Time
7. Winner A vs. Runner B 13:00 PM
8. Winner vs. Runner A 15:30 PM


9th Sept 2017 (Saturday)

Game No. Match Game Time
9. Third Place Match 12:00 PM
10. Title Match 15:00 PM

India ends FIBA Asia Cup 2017 campaign with loss to Syria

Bengaluru/Beirut, 14th August 2017:  The Indian men’s basketball team has ended its campaign at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017, after a 78-87 loss to Syria in the final game of the group stages.


It was a game of two halves, as India was absolutely brilliant in the first twenty minutes. At half time, India was leading 51 – 35 which grew to 19 early in the second half.


But Syria began to stifle India thereafter. They were hustling the Indian men into taking tough shots, while scoring relentlessly at the other end. Syria tied the game at 71 each with 6 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, before taking the lead for good.


The big centres on both sides starred for their teams with double-doubles: Ivan Todorovic with 23 points and 14 rebounds for Syria, and Amritpal Singh with 17 points and 13 rebounds for India.


Aravind Annadurai top scored for India with 20 points, most of which came in a hugely impressive first half. While the team will be disappointed at not progressing deeper into the tournament, it was excellent exposure for the younger players looking to build chemistry ahead of the all important 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup (Asian Qualifiers). Grouped with Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, India’s qualification campaign will begin against Lebanon on 23rd November 2017.


Syria (Ivan Todorovic 23 pts, 14 rebs; Micheal Madanly 18 pts; Tarek Aljabi 18 pts) bt India (Aravind Annadurai 20 pts; Amritpal Singh 17 pts, 13 rebs; Amjyot Singh Gill 17 pts) 87–78 [17 – 25, 18 – 26, 25 – 17, 27 – 10]

India show considerable improvement in close loss to Jordan

Bengaluru/Beirut, 12th August 2017:  The Indian men’s basketball team continued their FIBA Asia Cup 2017 campaign with a 54 – 61 loss against Jordan on Friday. Unlike the last game against Iran, the Indian men sank some early buckets and raced to a 12 – 8 lead. But Jordan fought back and wrested back a one point lead by the end of the first quarter.


India did well to stay in the game right through, but Jordan’s Mousa Alawadi scored crucial buckets to maintain their lead every time the Indian men closed the gap. He top scored for Jordan with 22 points. Power forward and captain Amjyot Singh Gill led the scoring for India with 17 points, and Aravind Annadurai grabbed 10 rebounds.


The Indian team will also be encouraged by a cameo from 17-year-old Baladhaneshwar Poiyamozhi, who played with urgency and made some good plays on transition in the second half. With seasoned guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi rested for this game, Baladhaneshwar’s performance was all the more timely.


Eventually, this turned out to be a low scoring game, with both teams going on extended stretches where they failed to score. Both teams will be disappointed with their conversion rate, as they shot a sub-par 34%.


India will be hoping he is fit for their final game of the group stages against Syria on 13th August at 2100 local time (2330 IST), in what is essentially an elimination game as both teams bid to finish third in the group and qualify for the next phase of the tournament.


Jordan (Mousa Alawadi 22 pts; Mah’d Abdeen 14 pts; Ahmad Alhamarsheh 13 rebs) bt India (Amjyot Singh Gill 17pts; Muin Bek Hafeez 10pts; Aravind Annadurai 10 rebs) 61–54 [15 – 14, 11 – 9, 18 – 14, 17 – 17]


Indian men begin FIBA Asia Cup 2017 with loss to Iran

Bengaluru/Beirut, 9th August 2017:  The Indian men’s basketball team began their FIBA Asia Cup 2017 campaign with a 54 – 101 loss against powerhouse Iran. India was slow out of the blocks, and fell behind 29 – 8 in the first quarter. From there on, the lead continued to grow as Iran outscored India in every quarter.


Iran are ranked 25th in the FIBA World Rankings, and showcased their offensive abilities in a clinical performance. They were shooting the ball at an impressive 51%, and had five players finish the game with scoring in double figures. Iran’s 7ft 2’’ centre Hamed Hadadi has played in the NBA (for the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns) and was at his imposing best against India, top scoring with 20 points and dishing out 8 assists.


For India, Amjyot Singh Gill was the only player who broke double figures with 10 points. India will be hoping to tighten up its game on both ends of the floor as it looks to qualify for the second phase of the tournament.


Iran (Hamed Hadadi 20 pts; Mohammad Jamshidijafarabadi 18 pts; Sajjad Mashayekhi 16 pts) bt India (Amjyot Singh Gill 10 pts; Talwinderjit Singh 9 pts) 101 – 54 [29-8, 21 – 14, 29 – 17, 22 – 15]


FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017 – India beat Kazakhstan in thrilling Div B Finals

Bengaluru, 29th July 2017: The Indian women’s basketball team has been elevated to Division A after beating Kazakhstan in an exciting finale.


BFI President K Govindaraj has announced a cash prize of INR 10,00,000/- to the Indian squad.


India tip Kazakhstan in thriller

The Division B final was a clash between two undefeated Division B teams, India and Kazakhstan. The two teams were meeting for the first time in the tournament. With the winner getting promoted to Division A for the next edition of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, both teams came out hungry for the victory.


Kazakhstan held the size advantage over the Indian team and this was punctuated by the play of Kazakh centre Nadezhda Kondrakova. She was able to score from inside and outside to begin the game. For India, the scoring came from a balanced team effort. Shireen was aggressive on her drives to the basket, while guards Paul Durai and Raspreet created space to knock down their jumpers.


Kazakhstan held a slim 3-point lead entering the second quarter and the built on it immediately. Tamara Yagodkina hit a couple of big triples in the second period to build on the Kazakh lead. Centre Kondrakova and forward Kurazova were attacking the boards for Kazakhstan, leading to multiple second chance opportunities. Kazakhstan ended the first half with another buzzer-beating triple and extended their lead to 8 points (39 to 31).


In the third quarter, the Kazakh offense continued to flow from bigs Kondrakova and Kurazova. But India slowly started to find their offensive rhythm. Shireen and Raspreet hit a couple of jumpers to give India some momentum. Debutante Grima Merlin came off the bench to provide an offensive spark with her strong drives to the basket. Shireen punched in a triple to end the third quarter, holding the Kazakh lead to 8 points again.


In the fourth, India began with a 6-0 run, with Paul Durai and Raspreet hitting a triple each. Grima followed it up with another shot from beyond the arc and the Kazakhs were thrown off their game. With the lead finally down to just one point, Jeena stepped up to give India the lead with a nifty move in the post. But Kazakh centre Kondrakova continued to fire, playing to her strengths in the post against the smaller Indian defenders. It all came down to the final minutes, when Kazakhstan arrested a 5-point lead, with a bucket from Kondrakova followed by a huge triple from forward Oxana Ossipenko.


But the Kazakh lead was soon cut down by a Shireen layup followed by a Jeena and-1 drive to the hoop. With the game tied at 71 apiece, both teams exchange buckets – Shireen from India and Oxana from Kazakhstan. There was 19 seconds left in the game and possession belonged to India with the ball in the hands of India’s MVP in the game, Shireen Limaye. Despite being a scambled play, Shireen managed to create space and hit a deep stepback jumper, putting India up with under a second left. The last ditch effort from Kazakhstan was to no avail and India secured a historic win, advancing to Division A of the FIBA Asia zone.


“All the hard work over the past 5 months paid off!” said India star Limaye after the thrilling victory.


India (Jeena Skaria 20 pts, Shireen Limaye 17 pts 10 rbs 6 asts, Grima Merlin Verghese 14 pts) bt Kazakhstan (Nadezhda Kondrakova 30 pts 18 rbs, Zalina Kurazova 17 pts, Oxana Ossipenko 8) 75-73 [16-19, 15-20, 19-19, 25-15]



FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017 – India advance to Div B final vs Kazakhstan

Bengaluru, 28th July 2017: The semifinals of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017 were played today, with the two Division A semifinals and one Division B semifinal at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru, and the other Division B semifinal at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium.


Division A

Australia bt Korea 81-64

As the fourth ranked team in the world, Australia are favourites to go all the way and deny Japan their shot at the three-peat. They reached the semi-finals with ease, winning all their games in the group stages and brushing DPR of Korea aside in the quarterfinals. But Korea began today’s game with a desire to upset the Australian canter, and by the end of the first quarter they were within range at 17 – 22.


As the game wore on, Korea continued to shoot the ball well. Their three point shooting (36%) kept them in the game early on, but the Australian offensive juggernaut proved impossible to stop. The Australian women shot the ball at a respectable 45% from the field, but were superior in passing the ball around to find the driving lane. They racked up 42 points in the paint, compared to only 14 points for Korea.


Australian bigs Sara Blicavs and Marianna Tolo dominated the backcourt, and did not allow Jisu Park the room to repeat her performance against New Zealand. She was limited to shooting one of eight from the field, and grabbed only 5 rebounds. At the other end of the floor, Blicavs and Tolo combined for 25 points.


Korea were further disadvantaged by the fact that Kim Danbi played no part in the first half, and was struggling at the start of the second before checking out within 2 minutes.


For Australia, Kelsey Griffin top scored with 21 points, shooting the ball at an impressive 64% from the field.


Australia (Kelsey Griffin 16 pts; Alanna Smith 12 pts; Sara Blicavs 10 pts) bt Korea (Leeseul Kang 14 pts; Sungyoung Sim 14 pts; Yung Hui Lim 12 pts) 81 – 64 [22 – 17, 23 – 13, 16 – 11, 20 – 23]

Japan bt China 74-71

Japan and China squared off in the second semi-final to decide who would face Australia in the gold medal game. China entered the game undefeated, trouncing most of their opponents on the way to the final four. Japan, on the other hand, dropped a game against Australia in the league stages, in an otherwise trouble-free run to the semi-finals.


The defending champions are known for their speed, rather than size. That is exactly what they showed the crowd today. Japan looked to push the tempo, right from the start, and play a fast paced game. Despite China fielding a bigger lineup, Japan stuck to their small ball strategy, led by dynamic point guard Manami Fujioka. Japan looked to put up their shots before China got their defense in place and the strategy paid off.


With Japan leading 18-15 to begin the second quarter, China went on a 6-0 run, taking the lead. Shao Ting carried the offensive load for China, connecting on all 3 of her 2-point attempts in the first half. Both teams exchanged buckets and ended the first half tied up at 32.


In the second half, China brought back their 6-foot-7-inch centre Yueru Li and she had an immediate impact on the game. There was no Japan defender who could contain her when she got deep post position and this worked to China’s advantage. While Japan continued to work through their backcourt of Fujioka and Rui Machida, China relied on the shooting of Shao Ting and post play of Li. The third quarter ended with China up 55-54.


In the fourth, China began to pull away building a slim lead. This is when Japan went on a blistering run led by their fiery point guard Fujioka. She penetrated the China defense with ease and created multiple opportunities for her teammates. Japan went on an 11-0 run to take a 2-point lead (71-69) in the final minutes. But China managed to tie things up with 2 minutes to go. However, a clutch triple by Japan’s Yuki Miyazawa in the penultimate minute game Japan a crucial 3-point lead. China hurried their opportunity to tie the game, which gave Japan possession in the final minute. Two offensive rebounds by Japan down the clock, forcing China to foul Fujioka. She had the opportunity to seal the game, but missed both freethrows, giving China life. China had a good look at a game-tying triple but Xiufeng Shi was unable to convert. Japan held on to clinch a thrilling victory.


We just looked to get out and run. Forty minutes of pace!” said Japan coach Hovasse after the game. Japan will face Australia in the final, and will look to make amends this time around after losing to them in the league stages.


Japan (Manami Fujioka 19 pts 14 asts 8 rbs, Yuki Miyazawa 16 pts, Maki Takada 13 pts) bt China (Shao Ting 16 pts, Song Gao 13 pts, Yueru Li 13 pts)74-71 [18-15, 14-17, 22-23, 20-16]

New Zealand defeat DPR of Korea 82-61

New Zealand beat DPR of Korea by a comfortable margin (82 – 61), securing their status in Division A. In the first quarter, the Tall Ferns shot the ball well, building up an early 23 point lead. DPR of Korea could not find their way back from there. New Zealand’s women dominated in the middle, outrebounding Korea 53 – 27 and scoring 48 points in the paint. Kalani Purcell led the effort with a double-double (13 points and 14 rebounds), and Jillian Harmon chipped in with 15 points. DPR of Korea must now play Philippines tomorrow in a battle against relegation to Division B.


New Zealand (Jillian Harmon 15 pts, 9 rebs; Kalani Purcell 13 pts, 14 rebs; Georgina Agnew 10 pts) bt DPR of Korea (Jong Ok Ri 19 pts; Hyang Ok Kim 17 pts; Suk Yong Ro 11 pts) 82 – 61 [31 – 8, 18 – 17, 22 – 16, 11 – 20]

Philippines lose to Chinese Taipei 53-87

Philippines lost to Chinese Taipei in a one sided game that saw them go behind in the first quarter and trail throughout the game. Centre Hsi-Le Bao led her team with a double-double (16 points and 11 rebounds), as her team shot a healthy 44.3% from the field. For Philippines, France Mae Cabinbin led the scoring with 14 points, but did not find much offensive support from any of her teammates. Philippines must now battle DPR of Korea to avoid being relegated back to Division B.


Chinese Taipei (Hsi-Le Bao 16 pts, 11 rebs; Yu-Ting Lin 14 pts; Ying-Chieh Wu 14 pts) bt Philippines (France Mae Cabinbin 14 pts) 87 – 53 [25 – 17, 13 – 8, 21 – 17, 28 – 11]

Division B

India edge past Lebanon

Hosts India took on Lebanon in their Division B semi-final in the last game of the day. India has had an untroubled run in Division B thus far, entering the game unconquered. Lebanon’s only loss was against an impressive Kazakhstan side in the league stages.


In the first quarter, Lebanon was the more aggressive team. Despite none of their players touching 6 feet, Lebanon outrebounded India and created 6 second-chance points. Their shooting was on point as well, with guards Rebecca Akl and Lama Moukaddem combining for 3 triples, including a buzzer-beating three to end the first quarter. For India, veteran point guard Anitha Paul Durai connected on both her shots and Shireen Limaye found her way to the basket, for 5 points each.


Lebanon held a 4-point lead entering the second quarter, leading 20 to 16. In the second, Lebanon continued their good shooting and was also forceful on drives to the basket. For India, the scoring came from multiple players. Raspreet Sidhu found her touch, while IMG Academy graduates Barkha Sonkar and Kavita Akula contributed with a triple each. India entered halftime down by 5 (33 to 38).


The third quarter was an up-and-down affair with both teams finding the bottom of the bucket at regular intervals. Veteran guards Paul Durai and Raspreet continued to fire, knocking down shots with efficiency. Forward Jeena Skaria got her mid-range game going creating for her teammates from the post, while centre Rajapriyadarshini contributed with a couple of buckets in the paint. For Lebanon, the 3-point barrage continued from Lama Moukaddem and Rebecca Akl. Paul Durai hit a buzzer-beating triple to end the third, ensuring that the Lebanon lead remained at 2 points (58-56).


In the final period, both teams played good defense in the first five minutes. Lebanon continued to maintain a slim lead, until India forward Jeena Skaria caught fire, hitting three straight shots and knocking down a technical freethrow, putting India ahead by 6 points. India never looked back, holding off Lebanon and maintaining their lead in the final minutes. Late clutch freethrows from Jeena and Raspreet sealed the deal, giving India a memorable 79-69victory. They now advance to the Division B final where they will face Kazakhstan.


India (Jeena Skaria 20, Raspreet Sidhu 17, Anitha Paul Durai 13) bt Lebanon(Rebecca Akl 20, Lama Moukaddem 16, El Charif Chirine 15) 79-69 [16-20, 17-18, 23-20, 11-23]

Kazakhstan advance defeating Uzbekistan 77-51

The second Division B semi-final took place earlier in the day between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan have remained undefeated so far, and carried on their fine form into this game. After a largely even first quarter, Kazakhstan put their pedal to the gas in the second quarter, outscoring Uzbekistan 23 to 9. This opened up the game, giving the Kazakhs a comfortable double-digit lead.


Zalina Kurazova led the scoring for Kazakhstan with 24 points, while Kondrakova had a big double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kazakhstan sealed the deal with a strong fourth quarter (22-9), registering a 77-51 blowout win and qualifying for the Division B final tomorrow. Sevastyanova had 19 points for Uzbekistan in the loss.


Kazakhstan (Zalina Kurazova 24 pts, Nadezhda Kondrakova 18 pts 10 rbs) bt Uzbekistan (Anastasiya Sevastyanova 19 pts, Irina Averyanova 13 pts 15 rbs, Aliya Samatova 10 pts) 77-51 [17-13, 23-9, 15-20, 22-9]

Sri Lanka lose to Fiji 64-65

Sri Lanka and Fiji played out a nail-biting game in what was essentially a dead rubber, with Fiji narrowly edging the game 65 – 64. The teams went into the fourth quarter tied at 47, and the lead changed hands several times before Fiji went ahead for the final time in the last minute of the game. Mili Koyamainavure top scored with 22 points for Fiji, and made some crucial plays down the stretch.


Fiji (Mili Koyamainavure 22 pts; Bitila Tawake 11 pts, 13 rebs; Tiyana Kainamoli 10 pts, 10 rebs) bt Sri Lanka (SulochanaIddamalgoda 12 pts; Imesha Durage 10 pts; Nadeeshani Silva 12 rebs) 65 – 64 [16-13, 8-15, 23-19, 18-17]


FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017 – India cruise into Div B semis

Bengaluru, 27th July 2017: The quarterfinals of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017 concluded today for both Division A and B, with games played at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium and Koramangala Indoor Stadium.

Division A

Korea knock New Zealand out

The first quarterfinal was a clash between South Korea and first-timers in the FIBA Asia Zone, New Zealand. This was a golden opportunity for New Zealand to qualify for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup next year after spending years falling short in the Oceania zone due to the mighty Australians.


The first quarter was a low scoring affair for both teams. Korea especially struggled while shooting from the field, with only 20% of their shots falling. As many as five New Zealand players got on the scoreboard in the first period, as they ended the quarter with a 14-8 lead.


The second quarter was pivotal in the scheme of the game: Korea fought back, dramatically improving their shooting percentage, and going on a huge 26-2 scoring run. Guards Han Byul Kum and Yung Hui Lim combined well with bigs Joo Yeong Kwak and 6-foot-4-inch Jisu Park. On the defensive end, Korea switched to a 3-2 zone and challenged New Zealand to knock down shots. Unfortunately, the outside shots were not falling for New Zealand and on the inside, Jisu Park made life difficult for the New Zealand slashers.


Starting the second half down 20 to 34, New Zealand’s veteran point guard Micaela Cocks sparked the offense with back-to-back 3s. This kicked off a 12-2 run for New Zealand, as they cut the lead down to 4 points. But Korea continued to score down low through their bigs Park and Kwak. As many as 32 points were scored by Korea in the paint in the first three quarters, compared to New Zealand’s 14.


In the final period, it all came down to making shots. Korea carried on their momentum, knocking down clutch buckets down the stretch. Jisu Park continued to hold the fort down low and was aggressive around the basket on offense. New Zealand’s shooting woes continued and they were just not able to bridge the gap.


The ball didn’t go into the hoop enough!” said NZ coach, Kennedy Kereama after the game. Korea pulled away for a 64-49 win, sealing a semifinal berth tomorrow.


Korea (Jisu Park 10 pts 11 rbs, Yung Hui Lim 14 pts, Joo Yeong Kwak 11 pts) bt New Zealand (Jillian Harmon 13 pts 10 rbs, Antonia Edmondson 11 pts 9 rbs, Micaela Cocks 11 pts) 64-49 [8-14, 26-6, 11-18, 19-11]


Australia ease past DPR of Korea

Favourites Australia took on DPR of Korea in the second quarterfinal of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017. Both teams entered the game with contrasting records. While Australia are unbeatean, DPR of Korea came out of the league stages with no wins under their belt.


There was a stark size difference between the two teams. Australia, with the bigger lineup, ran their offense through the post, as usual. The Opals were able to score in the paint over the smaller Korean defenders with ease: 28 of Australia’s points were scored in the paint. Australia held a significant rebounding advantage as well, outrebounding Korea 50 to 22. Their offensive rebounding led to 25 second-chance points.


DPR of Korea’s players fought valiantly, but were outmatched in all departments. The superior Aussies held the lead from start to finish. They were led by Alanna Smith’s 20 points, followed by Sara Blicavs’ 13 points. Australia will now face South Korea in the semifinal.


Australia (Alanna Smith 20, Sara Blicavs 13, Stephanie Cumming 11) bt DPR of Korea (Suk Yong Ro 22, Ryu Jong Kim 7, Hyang Jong Pak 7) 81-48 [28-12, 21-11, 11-12, 21-13]

China blow out Philippines

China made light work of the Philippines in the third quarterfinal of the day, sealing a spot in the semifinals tomorrow. Just like the previous quarterfinal, size was the crucial difference between the two teams.


There was too much one-on-one play by the Philippines guards, which did not pay off against the bigger China lineup. China, on the other hand, executed their offense to perfection. On half court sets, their ball movement created easy open looks, which they were able to knock down at a high percentage. China also used their post players to run a lot of offensive possessions against the undersized Perlas.


6-foot-7-inch China centre Yueru Li led the way once again with 19 points and 12 rebounds. China was able to test their bench strength in today’s game and they performed exceptionally well, contributing 62 points. China dominated in all departments and closed out on a massive 117-43 win, breaking the Cup scoring record thus far. Philippines remain winless in a disappointing welcome to Division A.


China (Yueru Li 19 pts 12 rbs, Sinjin Huang 15 pts, Shao Ting 12 pts 7 asts) bt Philippines (Afril Bernardino 11 pts, Camile Sambile 10 pts) 117-43 [33-13, 28-2, 25-16, 31-12]


Japan overcome Chinese Taipei

Defending champions Japan took the last semi-final spot with a gritty 73–57 victory over Chinese Taipei. The challengers came out of the blocks with a clear plan to stifle Japan’s transition game, and it worked well in the first quarter. The Chinese Taipei offense also complemented their defensive effort, as they were hitting their shots. Hsi-Le Bao started strong with a block and a three pointer, as they ended the first quarter with a narrow lead (15 – 13).


But as the game wore on, their effort began to slacken. Japan’s star point guard Asami Yoshida dished out some splendid passes to find her teammates in space, as the Japanese took the lead 33 – 30 into halftime. From there on, Japan’s lead only continued to grow, and they eventually won by a comfortable 16 point margin.


Japan’s offensive effort was led by Moeko Nagaoka, who shot at a remarkable 70% and top scored with 28 points; Asami Yoshida notched up 8 assists and 3 steals. Japan will now face China in the semifinals, in a rematch of last edition’s final which Japan won comfortably.


Japan (Moeko Nagaoka 28 pts; Saki Mizushima 11 pts; Asami Yoshida 8 asts) bt Chinese Taipei (Ping-Jen Huang 17 pts; Hsi-Le Bao 16 rebs) 73 – 57 [13 – 15, 20 – 15, 19 – 15, 21 – 12]

Division B


India cruise to semis

Hosts India played Fiji in the last quarterfinal of the day, as they looked to continue their charge towards promotion. The Indian offense was on fire once again in the first half, as they raced to a 42 – 23 lead by halftime. Anitha Paul Durai and Jeena Skaria did the bulk of the scoring in the first half, with 24 points between them. Kavita Akula put in an assured performance at point guard, even knocking down a buzzer beater three at the stroke of halftime.


In the second half, Coach Zoran Visic gave his bench a run-out, allowing Grima to continue her run of good performances in this tournament (15 points). India’s centres were offensively productive, as Rajapriyadharshini finished with 12 points and Poonam Chaturvedi had 10 points.


India was superior in almost every department, outrebounding the Fiji team 55 – 25. Fiji were also clumsy with their passing, allowing the Indian women to notch up 28 points from turnovers.


In the final analysis, the team shot the ball well, at a healthy 45% from the field. Anitha Paul Durai led the scoring for India with 19 points and Grima Merlin chipped in with 15 points. Mili Koyamainavure led the scoring for Fiji with 23 points.


India (Anitha Paul Durai 19 pts; Grima Merlin 15 pts; Rajapriyadharshini Rajaganapathy 10) bt Fiji (Mili Koyamainavure 23 pts) 93 – 51 [19 – 11, 23 – 12, 25 – 16, 26 – 12]


Uzbekistan fend off feisty Singapore

Uzbekistan set up a semifinal clash with Kazakhstan after an emphatic come-from-behind victory over Singapore. Singapore began the game well, going up 37 – 32 by halftime. But Uzbekistan came back strongly in the third quarter and outscored their opponents 33 – 16. The game eventually finished 84 – 79. Singapore played hard, looking for high percentage shots and racking up 46 points in the paint. But the 12-point deficit to start the fourth quarter proved too much to overcome. Elena Khusnitdinova starred for Uzbekistan with a double-double (19 points and 11 rebounds), while Natalya Koneva top scored with 26 points. Uzbekistan was on fire from beyond the arc, shooting an impressive 47.4%.


Uzbekistan (Natalya Koneva 26 pts; Elena Khusnitdinova 19 pts, 11 rebs; Anastasiya Sevastyanova 16 pts) bt Singapore (Jia Min Lim 18 pts, Cheryl Poon 13 pts; Jacqueline Chu 13 pts) 84 – 79 [18 – 22, 14 – 15, 33 – 16, 19 – 26]


Lebanon brush past Sri Lanka

Lebanon booked their spot in the Division B semifinals with an easy 86 – 37 victory over Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka shot the ball poorly, hitting only 20% of their shots from the field. Veteran centre Nadeeshani Silva top scored for Sri Lanka with 17 points, but none of her teammates broke into double figures. They were also outrebounded by Lebanon 60 – 41. For Lebanon, power forward Narine Gyokchian notched up a double-double, with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Lebanon will now face India in the semifinal.


Lebanon (Lama Moukaddem 16 pts; Nancy Maalouf 14 pts; Narine Gyokchian 13 pts, 12 rebs) bt Sri Lanka (N. Silva 17 pts) 86 – 37 [25 – 11, 22 – 9, 29 – 10, 10 – 7]