India eves storm into semifinals

India stayed unbeaten and powered into the semifinals in Division B of the FIBA Under-18 Women's Asian championship at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.

In their last Group A game, India overwhelmed Singapore 79-49 to remain atop the table. In Group B, Syria, also undefeated, notched up a straight-forward 44-37 win over Samoa to enter the last-four round.

Point guard Gulabsha Ali, with 21 points and five steals, emerged India's top performer. Karnataka's Harshitha KB was dominant in the paint, claiming 12 rebounds. She also scored 15 points and made five assists. Srishti Suren and Ishwarya Janardhan helped with 12 points apiece.

Shuting Wong scored 12 points for Singapore.

The outcome was never in doubt as India, despite being outscored in the second quarter, held a healthy 38-25 lead at half-time. Gulabsha then stole the thunder, scoring 13 points in the third quarter, including three 3-pointers, to put India in command (63-36). The hosts completed the formality in the fourth to record a fine victory.

In Division A, Japan and Korea pulled off massive upsets to advance to the semifinals. The two teams topped their respective groups and qualified for the FIBA under-19 Women's Basketball World Cup to be held in Bangkok, Thailand next year. 

The Japanese zipped up and down the court at a breakneck speed to break the Chinese stranglehold in the competition, winning their Group B match 94-79. 

In Group A, Korea staged a stunning coup, edging the fancied Aussies 63-62 to register their first ever win over the Gems.

China will now have to beat Chinese Taipei on Thursday to make it to the semifinal. Australia, meanwhile, will battle it out against familiar foes New Zealand to progress.

Norika Konno scored a game-high 19 points for Japan while Nanaka Todo and Layla Takehara chipped in with 17 and 16 respectively. For China, Yuan LI starred with 16 points and nine assists.

Results: Division A: Group A: Korea: 63 (Sohee Lee 21, Jihyun Park 18, Leeseul Shin 10) bt Australia: 62 (Isobel Anne 19, Nnenna Agnes Emma-Nnopu 10); Chinese Taipei: 99 (Yu-Chieh Chen 13, Chin-Ying Chen 12) bt Indonesia: 54 (Tricia Mary 15, Angela Suwanto 15).

Group B: Japan: 94 (Layla Takehara 16, Ririka Okuyama 11, Miyabi Sakamoto 14, Norika Konno 19, Nanako Todo 17) bt China: 79 (Yuan Li 16, Mingling Chen 16, Kun Huang 11); New Zealand: 99 (Emilia Shearer 10, Rochelle Fourie 14, Tayla Dalton 15, Charlotte Whittaker 18) bt Malaysia: 32 (Weng Yen Chan 10)

Division B: Group A: India: 79 (Gulabsha Ali 21, Harshita Bopaiah 15, Ishwarya Janardhanan 12, Srishti Suren 12) bt Singapore: 49 (Shuting Wong 12); Guam: 55 (Mia San Nicolas 21, Elysia Perez 10) lt to Iran: 98 (Fatemeh Aghazadegan 28, Negin Rasoulipour 21, Ghazal Maleki 10).

Group B: Syria: 44 (Anna Aghananian Aslanian 19) bt Samoa: 37 (Tasiaelasileagi Stowers 10, Jana Taufua 10); Hong Kong: 80 (Pui Ying Ho 22, Wing Yan Chan 21) bt Kazakhstan: 73 (Inna KUlikova 21, Maria Zaitseva 16)  

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India eves storm into semifinals

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