FIBA women’s Asia Cup: Anitha Durai stars as India smothers Fiji

The Indian skipper (19 points) recorded her third successive double-digit score, allowing India to take one step closer to earning promotion to Division A.

The considerably shorter Fiji defence stood no chance against an upbeat Indian attack.   -  K Murali Kumar

Skipper Anitha Paul Durai came to the party once again to power India past Fiji 93-51 in the FIBA women’s Asia Cup (Division B) quarterfinal here on Thursday. The host faces a tough Lebanon side in the semifinal, at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Friday.

Anitha (19 points) recorded her third successive double-digit score, allowing India to take one step closer to earning promotion to Division A. The spectators came alive in the third-quarter, when Poonam Chaturvedi checked in. The 6’11” centre stood under the board, received high, lobbed passes, and dropped the ball into the basket.

The considerably shorter Fiji defence stood no chance. Poonam finished the game with 10 points.

In Division A, the favourites advanced to the last-four stage. The teams – China, Japan, South Korea and Australia – have now earned spots in the main draw of the FIBA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Spain next year. While China and Australia had it easy in their quarterfinal outings, Japan and South Korea were made to work.

Japan, helped by exceptional transition plays and crisp passing, took out Chinese Taipei 73-57. South Korea, on the other hand, went past a fighting New Zealand 64-49, thanks to a late run.

The results (quarterfinals):

Division A:

China 117 (Li Yueru 19, Huang Sijing 15, Li Meng 12, Shao Ting 12, Sun Mengran 12, Gao Song 10) bt Philippines 43 (Afril Bernardino 11, Camille Sambile 10); South Korea 64 (Jisu Park 19, Lim Yung Hui 14, Joo Yeong Kwak 11) bt New Zealand 49 (Jillian Harmon 13, Micaela Cocks 11, Antonia Edmondson 11); Australia 81 (Alanna Smith 20, Sara Blicavs 13, Stephanie Cumming 11) bt North Korea 48 (Suk Yong Ro 22); Japan 73 (Moeko Nagaoka 28, Saki Mizushima 11, Maki Takada 10) bt Chinese Taipei 57 (Jen Huang Ping 17).

Division B:

Uzbekistan 84 (Natalya Koneva 26, Elena Khusnitdinova 19, Anastasiya Sevastyanova 16) bt Singapore 79 (Jia Min Lim 18, Jacqueline Chu 13, Cheryl Poon 13, Yukie Yoshida 12); Lebanon 86 (Lama Moukaddem 16, Nancy Maalouf 14, Narine Gyokchian 13) bt Sri Lanka 37 (Nadeeshani Kumarine Silva 17); India 93 (Anitha Paul Durai 19, Grima Merlin 15, R. Rajapriyadarshini 12) bt Fiji 51 (M. Koyamainavure 23).

Semifinal line-up:

Division A: South Korea v Australia; Japan v China (both at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium)

Division B: Uzbekistan v Kazakhstan (Koramangala Indoor Stadium); Lebanon v India (Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium).

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