FIBA Asia Women’s Cup: India beats Sri Lanka to top group

India whipped Sri Lanka 88-42 to emerge as the group topper in Division B of the FIBA Asia Women’s Cup

India’s Prasannan Geetha Anjana (4-blue), in action against Sri Lanka, during the Division B match at FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2017, at Sree Kanteerava stadium, in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

India whipped Sri Lanka 88-42 to emerge as the group topper in Division B of the FIBA Asia Women’s Cup, at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday. As the best team in Group ‘A’, India enters the knockout rounds as the top-seed. The home side will face Fiji in the quarterfinal on Thursday.

Grima Merlin (20 points) led the rout, as the over-matched Sri Lankan unit caved in without much fight.

Earlier, Australia edged out Japan 83-74 to finish Group ‘B’ (Division A) on top. The bigger and stronger Australians out-muscled its smaller opponent. Kelsey Griffin (16 points, 9 rebounds) and centre Marianna Tolo (17 pts, 8 rebounds) powered the side on both ends of the court.

Japan, on the other hand, stayed in the hunt through sharp passing and hustle plays. Manami Fujioka, in particular, showcased offensive brilliance, cutting into the lane frequently and finishing with elan.

However, every time Manami caught fire, the streak was doused by Australia’s offensive options.

Kelsey stated that her side expected a stiff challenge from Japan. “We had to make several in-game adjustments. Credit to Japan, they played really well, especially Manami. She dominated the second-half. Japan will definitely be there deep in the knockout rounds. They are a great team," she said.

Wednesday is a rest day. The knockout rounds begin on Thursday.

The results:

Division A:

New Zealand 59 (Kalani Purcell 22, Jillian Harmon 15) bt Chinese Taipei 53 (Hsi-Le Bao 12); China 110 (Li Yueru 33, Gao Song 14, Sijing Huang 12, Shi Xiufeng 12) bt North Korea 53 (Ro Suk Yong 20, Ri Jong Ok 11); Australia 83 (Marianna Tolo 17, Kelsey Griffin 16, Sara Blicavs 12, Katie-Rae Ebzery 11) bt Japan 74 (Yuki Miyazawa 19, Manami Fujioka 18, Yuka Osaki 10, Maki Takada 10); South Korea 91 (Danbi Kim 19, Jisu Park 15, Yung Hui Lim 13, Han Byui Kim 11, Sim Sungyoung 10) bt Philippines 63 (Allana Lim 14, Analyn Almazan 12, Janine Pontejos 10).

Division B:

Kazakhstan 71 (Oxana Ossipenko 21, Tamara Yagodkina 16, Nadezhda Kondrakova 13) bt Fiji 48 (Bulou Koyamainavure 28); India 88 (Grima Merlin 20, Anitha Paul Durai 13) bt Sri Lanka 42 (Imesha Dapana 9).

Quarterfinal line-up:

Division A: China v Philippines; Japan v Chinese Taipei; New Zealand v South Korea; Australia v North Korea.

Division B: India v Fiji; Uzbekistan v Singapore; Sri Lanka v Lebanon; Kazakhstan (bye to semis).

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