FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021: Day two wrap
IT was another day full of blowouts in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup over in Amman, Jordan. Of the four games played, three had a margin of 38 points or greater and two had a margin of over 60 points. There are certainly a group of favourites established and with just one day of games remaining, teams will be eager to continue the momentum into the upcoming playoffs series.
New Zealand (50) def by. Japan (62)
Japan’s second triumph of the tournament came in much more dramatic fashion, with New Zealand pushing their opponents for all four quarters, before Japan were able to put the game away late in the last term. Japan came into this contest as favourites, given their dominant 90-point win in their first game, but New Zealand were confident in their ability to cause an upset. A surprising first quarter saw New Zealand take a seven-point lead into the first break. Japan were able to get into an offensive rhythm in the next period, turning their deficit into a one-point lead at half time. With the game still in reach heading into the final term, Japan were able to steady and take home a crucial 12-point win.
Both teams shot quite inaccurately, with New Zealand even shooting a higher percentage inside the three-point line, but the biggest indicator in the stats was Japan walking away with 12 less turnovers than their opponents. The ability to hold onto the ball is crucial in close games, and Japan were up to the task. Japan’s Saki Hayashi delivered an eye-catching performance with 12 points and four rebounds.
India (69) def by. Korea (107)
India’s struggles have continued, unable to keep up with a Korea side that was able to do as they pleased for large portions of the contest. A high scoring first quarter saw Korea lead by just six points, and it seemed India looked set to test their opponents, who were heavily favoured in this match-up. The lead was extended in the second quarter, as India trailed by 16 at the main break, but this was still achievable, given the level of scoring in the first half. Unfortunately for India, their upset hopes were all but crushed in the third team, as Korea dominated with a 33-7 third period as they cruised home to a comfortable victory.
Korea’s three point shooting once again caused problems for their opponents, shooting over 50 per cent from the field as they made the most of the room they were given by India. Korea’s Leeseul Kang produced an impressive display, finishing the contest with 18 points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals as she led her side to their second victory of the tournament.
Chinese Taipei (50) def by. China (124)
The biggest win of the day came as China ran rampant against Chinese Taipei, dominating all four quarters in an outing that would have the rest of the competition on edge. China took a commanding lead in the first quarter, and only further extended this in the second period to take a 33-point advantage into the main break. The third quarter saw one of the most dominant periods of any team so far this tournament, with China holding their opponents to 10 points while scoring 37 of their own. At this point the match was well and truly out of reach for Chinese Taipei, as China cruised to a whopping 74-point win.
China dominated in nearly every statistical category, including shooting percentage, where they shot a remarkable 82 per cent from inside the three-point line and 54 per cent from beyond the arc. They were given the freedom to score at will and they took full advantage of this. China’s Xu Han was a force to be reckoned with, as she poured in 18 points, four rebounds and five assists in a terrific all-around display.
Philippines (56) def by. Australia (120)
The Opals produced an outstanding display, racking up a whopping 64-point triumph over the Philippines overnight. The Aussies were clinical for the entire game, never allowing their opponents to take the lead or even bring themselves into the contest, as the victors continued to extend the lead. The Opals were dominant in the first half, dropping 64 points by the time the main break rolled around as they continued to fire on all cylinders on the offensive end. The Philippines could not generate enough offence to remain competitive with an Opals side that was able to leave the arena with a comfortable victory heading into the final round of games.
The Aussies didn’t shoot at a record-breaking pace, but their work across the court (including 12 steals and six blocks) was the driving factor in guiding them to their second win of the tournament. Keely Froling was incredible in her second outing, stuffing the stats sheet with 19 points and 13 rebounds, as her double-double saw her as easily the strongest performer of the day.
Picture credit: FIBA