FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021: Day one wrap
THERE was plenty of basketball action overnight, with the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup holding their first group of games in the last 24 hours. With just a few days to secure a spot in the playoffs, teams came out firing on all cylinders, with plenty of ridiculous scores put up by some countries looking to assert their dominance early.
Japan (136) def. India (46)
It was a powerful opening performance from Japan, who had their way with a struggling Indian side. From the first quarter, it was evident that Japan were out for blood, scoring 41 points in the opening term, while their opponents could manage just 14. The story was much of the same for the remainder of the contest, with India no match for a Japan side full of confidence, which they should take into their next outing against New Zealand later today.
Remarkably, Japan made 71 per cent of its two-pointers and 51 cent of its three-pointers, which shows the freedom with which they were allowed to score with. Kiho Miyashita top scored for Japan and the game as a whole, producing 27 points, five rebounds and five assists in a telling performance.
Korea (85) def. New Zealand (69)
Korea’s World Cup experience has gotten off to a perfect start, defeating New Zealand by 17 points on Monday night. Korea outplayed and outscored their opponents in all four quarters, and while the largest margin in a quarter was just five points, the team’s consistency was a valuable weapon that drove them to a crucial win. Korea will be confident heading into their upcoming clash with India.
The result was also heavily affected by three-point shooting efficiency, with the victors shooting 20 per cent higher than their opponents. This was despite shooting less efficiently from inside the three-point line. Korea’s Isaem Choi put on an offensive clinic, pouring in 29 points and eight rebounds, with New Zealand producing no answers to her dominance. Despite the loss, New Zealand’s Penina Davidson was terrific with 21 points and 11 rebounds in a valiant display.
China (143) def Philippines (52)
China has announced itself as one of the competitions favourites with a whopping 91-point win against the Philippines overnight. It was a commanding four quarter performance by the eventual victors, never letting their opponents into the game by taking an 18-point lead into quarter time and never looking back. The strongest quarter came in the third period, where China outscored its fellow contestants by 30 points. With a spot in next year’s Games up for grabs, China will be looking to deliver many more performances of this caliber heading into the pointy end of the competition.
Shooting percentage from both inside and outside the three-point line helped secure the win for China in this match, with the Philippines unable to match their opponents when shooting the ball, and giving up too many easy baskets. China’s Yang Liwei was the top scorer for the match, pouring in 21 points, while her side had eight scorers in double digits, showcasing the threat they pose to other teams.
Australia (76) def. Chinese Taipei (65)
A strong second half was the driving force in the Opals’ 11-point win over the Chinese Taipei early on Tuesday morning. The Aussies trailed by a solitary point at half time following a strong second quarter by their opponents. Coach Paul Gorris was able to rally his troops for a fantastic third quarter showing, where the Opals outscored the opposition by nine points and were able to slightly extend this lead in the last term to claim their first triumph of the tournament. The Aussies take on the Philippines early Wednesday morning, in a matchup that should favor the Opals given the results that have occurred.
The Opals were well led by captain Sami Whitcomb, who produced an impressive double-double with 13 points, six rebounds and 11 assists as she controlled the floor for her team. Aussie Darcee Garbin was the game’s highest scorer with 15 points and will be looking to carry this momentum into upcoming games.
Picture credit: FIBA