Australia, China move into semifinals

Australia, China move into semifinals

Nnenna Agnes Emma-Nnopu (left), Mela Goodchild (right) and Ashlee Hannan of Australia block Ella Bradley of New Zealand during their clash in the FIBA U-18 Women Asian Basketball Championship at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH Photo: Srikanta Sharma R

Australia and China recorded convincing wins to advance to the semifinals of Division A in the FIBA under-18 Women’s Asian Championship at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.

The last-four places also guarantee the two teams berths at the FIBA U-19 Women’s World Cup.

Australia, stunned by Korea on Tuesday, needed a win to ensure they qualify for the World Cup and so they did, beating Oceania rival New Zealand 82-66. China, on the other hand, started slowly but gained momentum as the game progressed and comfortably defeated Chinese Taipei 80-53.

In the semifinals on Friday, Australia will be against their nemesis Japan while China will play Korea.

Isabel Leigh Palmer, Mela Goodchild, and Isobel Anne Anstey, each scored 13 points for the Gems while Jazmin Shelley helped with 11. Ashlee Hannan and Samantha Simons also added 10 points apiece.

For the junior Tall Ferns, Ella Bradley scored a game-high 14 points while Leah Mafua and Tayla Dalton scored 13 and 10 points respectively.

In Division B, India, who had sealed their semifinal place after topping Group A, will face Hong Kong, who beat Singapore 67-37 on Thursday. In the other game, Kazakhstan edged Iran 71-56.

Results: Semifinal qualifiers: Division A: Australia: 82 (Isobel Anne Anstey 13, Mela Goodchild 13, Isabel Leigh Palmer 13, Jazmin Shelley 11, Ashlee Hannan 10, Samantha Simons 10) bt New Zealand: 66 (Ella Bradley 14, Leah Mafua 13, Tayla Dalton 10); China: 80 (Yuan Li 20, Yuyan Li 16, Yuton Liu 10) bt Chinese Taipei: 53 (Yu-Chieh Chen 16, Wei-Ju Wu 11). Division B: Kazakhstan: 71 (Inna Kulikova 26, Maria Zaitseva 16) bt Iran: 56 (Fatemeh Aghazadegan 10, Sahar Goodarzi 11); Hong Kong: 67 (Wing Nga Poon 18) bt Singapore: 37 (Esther AD 15).