India dished out a much-improved performance against South Korea before falling 62-97 in their second Group A match in the Division A of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup basketball tournament at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
Forward An Jin stole the show for the Koreans, with 21 points and nine rebounds while Hyeuoon Bae (14 points), Leeseul Kang (13) and Seul Ku (12) also made valuable contributions. Jeena Scaria top-scored for India with 14 points while Anjana Prasannan Geetha chipped in with nine.
The hosts didn’t let the opening day loss against Japan affect them as they roared to a 12-2 lead before clinging on to a 22-20 advantage in the first quarter. Jeena was at the centre of all good things for India did in that period. Geetha also made her presence felt.
Koreans made a tremendous comeback in the second quarter, claiming 24 points to go ahead 44-28. In complete command of the play now, the Koreans kept extending their lead. They were 74-43 after the third quarter. India did breach the 50-point mark in the fourth, but to no avail.
On Thursday, India must defeat Chinese Taipei to avoid the relegation play-off match. The Chinese Taipei lost 49-78 to Japan.
Forward Ramu Tokashiki led Japan with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists while skipper Maki Takada claimed 19 points and collected eight rebounds. For Chinese Taipei, Ling Chuan Huang scored 12.
Chinese Taipei matched Japan’s intensity in the first half. They bounced back from a 12-21 deficit in the first period to claim a stunning 33-27 lead in the second, outscoring their illustrious opponents 21-6.
But that was the end of Chinese Taipei’s fight as the defending champions returned all guns blazing to restore their advantage. At the end of the third quarter, Japan led 54-42. The Tom Hovasse-coached side didn’t give a moment’s rest to Chinese Taipei in the last 10 minutes, claiming 24 points to allay any chance of an upset.
Results: Group A: Japan: 78 (Maki Takada 19, Ramu Tokashiki 19, Yuki Miyazawa 15) bt Chinese Taipei: 49 (Ling Chuan Huang 12); South Korea: 97 (An Jin 21, Hyeyoon Bae 14, Leeseul Kang 13, Seul Ku 12,
Minjeong Kim 11, Hyejin Park 11, Jihyun Park 10) bt India: 62 (Jeena Scaria 14, Anjana Geetha 9).
Group B: Australia: 82 (Ezi Magbegor 14, Darcee Garbin 13, Abby Bishop 10) bt New Zealand: 44 (Antonia Edmondson 12, Micaela Cocks 10); China: 104 (Mingling Chen 21, Guo Zixuan 19, Yueru Li 11, Li Yuan 10, Jiacen Liu 10, Xu Han 10) bt Philippines: 57 (Afril Bernandino 10).
Matches today: New Zealand vs Philippines (1:15 pm), Australia vs China (3:30 pm), Japan vs South Korea (5:45 pm), Chinese Taipei vs India (8:00 pm).