India storm into final

Australia set up title clash with Japan in Div A

India storm into final

Hosts India produced a gritty performance to beat Kazakhstan 77-40 to set up a Division B final date with Malaysia in the FIBA under-16 Women’s Asian championship at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here.

Malaysia defeated Iran 85-68 in the other last-four tie at the Koramanagala Indoor Stadium on Friday.

Continuing her superb form, forward Vaishnavi Yadav shone with 21 points. Centre Pushpa Senthil Kumar added 14 while Neha Karwa and Sreekala Rani scored 11 points apiece. For Kazakhstan, Alexandra Komarova scored 12 points while Xeniya Abdurashitova added 10.

After a scrappy few minutes, Neha and Vaishnavi turned up the heat as India took the first quarter 18-11. The point guard was a constant menace for Kazakhstan, who struggled against her agility and slick passing moves. She scored seven points and made three assists in that period.   

Vaishnavi took charge of the second quarter as well, scoring nine points as the hosts inflicted further damage to Kazakhstan’s hopes. By the half-time, India were ahead 45-20. India were dominant after the break too, with captain Sanjana Ramesh and centre Pushpa Senthil Kumar ruling the paint. The hosts led 61-30 after the third quarter. The fourth was a mere formality as India kept Kazakhstan at bay and relied mostly on the counter-attacks to seal their victory.

Australia face Japan

In Division A, Australia lived up to their top-billing and overpowered reigning champions China 86-46 to storm into the final.

The Sapphires will face Japan in the title decider on Saturday, repeating the final encounter between their senior teams, which the latter won in July earlier this year.

Japan humbled New Zealand 97-65 in the other last-four clash. Nnenna Agnes Emma-Nnopu led the Australian charge with a game-high 17 points. The centre also grabbed six rebounds and four steals. Captain Shyla Jade Heal wasn’t too far behind, scoring 15 points.

For China, Jiyuan Wan top-scored with 11 points while skipper Ming Zheng added 10. Tall centre Yutong Liu surprisingly had a quiet day. Yutong, who has been the driving force for the Chinese in the previous games, contributed six rebounds.

Results: All semifinals: Division A: Australia: 86 (Shyla Jade Heal 15, Nnenna Agnes Emma-Nnopu 17) bt China: 46 (Jiyuan Wan 11, Ming Zheng 10); Japan: 97 (Yuki Shuto 24, Misa Hayashi 19, Aika Hirashita 14) bt New Zealand: 65 (Charlisse Trinity Leger-Walker 22, Sharne Pupuke-Robati 12).

Division B: Malaysia: 85 (Lai Tan 22, Jing Lim 13, Zi Wong 12, Su Tang 12) bt Iran: 68 (Fatemeh Ghazvini 25, Asal Mohseni 10); India: 77 (Vaishnavi Yadav 21, Pushpa Senthil Kumar 14, Sreekala Rani 11, Neha Karwa 11) bt Kazakhstan: 40 (Xeniya Abdurashitova 10, Alexandra Komarova 12).

Fixtures: On Saturday: At Sree Kanteerava Stadium: Division A: Final: Australia vs Japan (8pm). Third-place playoff: New Zealand vs China (3.30pm). Division B: Final: India vs Malaysia (5.45pm). Third-place playoff: Iran vs Kazakhstan (1.15pm).


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