FIBA Asia U-18: India emerge Division B champions

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Bengaluru, November 3: In-form India overcame 68-45 Kazakhstan to win the Division B title of FIBA Asia Women’s (Under-18) basketball championships at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

The India girls also earned a promotion to Division A for the next edition to be played in 2020.

Indian players celebrate after their win against Kazakhstan on Saturday, PC: FIBA Asia

Harshitha Bopaian, the local DYES Vidyanagar girl, was once again the star of the show sinking 20 baskets and fetching 13 rebounds as the Indians began on a rather circumspect note but gained in confidence with each passing minute to decimate their rivals.

Pushpa Senthil Kumar and Darshini Thirunavukkarasu combining well and setting up Harshitha with well-timed lay-ups, the Indians were all over the courts as Kazakshtan tried hard to defend. But Harshitha and Senthil produced wonderful shots from inside the outside the paint to enable India keep increasing their lead all along. Harshitha had seven field goals and seven two-pointers to rub it in as a vociferous crowd cheered the Indians on.

Indian players celebrate their victory over Kazakhstan on Saturday, PC: FIBA Asia

Srikala and Darshini also contributed to the score with some accurate shooting and got useful two-pointers whenever Kazakhstan worked to reduce the gap.

Alexandra Komorova and Inna Kulikova worked overtime and defended stoutly apart from barging into score. But with not much of support coming forth, their efforts went in vain.

It was only in the final quarter that Kazakhstan managed to narrow the lead but by then the Indians played at a relaxed pace and had the game under total control.

Results (final): India 68 (Harshitha Bopaiah 20, Pushpa Senthil Kumar 14, Srishti Suren 10 vs Kazakhstan 45 (Inna Kulikova 10) (18-9, 16-7, 22-12, 14-17).

3rd & 4th place playoff: Hong Kong 68 (Wing Nga Poon 22)  lost to Syria 75 (Noura Bshara 29) (15-16, 18-18, 18-20, 19-21).

Division B – rankings:

  1. INDIA
  2. Kazakhstan
  3. Syria
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Iran
  6. Singapore
  7. Samoa
  8. Guam

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