Australia exhibited a masterclass in planning and execution as it outclassed China 81-55 in the Division A final of the FIBA Asian women’s u-18 basketball championship at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
Watched by a moderate crowd, Australia demonstrated its ruthlessness in defensive and offensive rebounds yet again to subdue China in a manner that few teams have been able to.
There was hardly a fight put up by China as Australia led comfortably in all the quarters.
Centre Isla Juffermans, guard Isobel Borlase, forward Nyadiew Puoch and point guard Dallas Loughridge were outstanding in the tournament, and in the summit clash, they did their roles to perfection.
The height factor came into play as China could hardly penetrate the Oz defence. China’s key players, forward Wenxia Li and shooting guard Jing Wang couldn't do much in a defence largely manned by centre Isla Juffermans. China introduced its tallest player, Jiyang Ge (6’7”) in the second quarter in a bid to stop Australia from scoring, but baskets continued to come at a regular pace.
Juffermans was the top-scorer (26) for Australia and emerged its most valuable player. She was very solid in offensive and defensive rebounds.
Guard Dallas Loughridge proved to be equally valuable as Juffermans. She scored 17 points.
When the scoring rate slowed down, Loughridge produced baskets with searing lay-ups and some wonderful assists (8). “Our rebound count (56) was excellent today. As the top seed in the tournament, we were under pressure, but we delivered,” said Australia's head coach David Herbert.
Earlier, Japan finished third, defeating Chinese Taipei 64-53 in the playoff.
Malaysia qualified for Division-A with a 64-53 win over Mongolia in the Division-B final.