India has been relegated to Division-B and will play in the second tier in 2024. The FIBA Asian women’s u-18 basketball championship here on Friday, saw Indonesia pull off a nerve-wracking 48-45 win over India to finish seventh, and stay in the top-tier (Division-A).
With the clock showing 2:04, shooting guard Vanissa Renata Siregar came up with a brilliant three-pointer that enabled Indonesia to script a famous victory.
India fought back valiantly after being outplayed in the first quarter (5-17) to reduce the margin to five points (22-27) in the second. However, it was in the third quarter that India showed fine defensive rebounding skills and decent shooting.
Shooting guard Karanveer Kaur’s timely three-pointers (5/9 attempts) ensured India remained in the contest. Centre Bhumika Singh and power forward Niharika Reddy Mekapati did really well at the defence in the third and fourth quarters. But it was India’s woeful shooting that turned out to be the team’s undoing especially in the first two quarters. Vanissa, the star of Indonesia’s triumph, emerged the top-scorer for her team with 14 points.
“We enjoyed our game. The important thing was our defence was good. We had prepared only for two weeks and moreover most of our players were 16-17 years old. But thanks to India for putting up a fight,” said Oey Andre Yuwadi, the head coach of Indonesia.
China, Chinese Taipei in semifinals
Meanwhile, China and Chinese Taipei entered the semifinals, with wins over Korea and New Zealand respectively.
While Chinese Taipei overcame a stiff challenge from New Zealand 77-67 China shut the door on Korea 70-53.
In the semifinals on Saturday, Australia will take on Taipei while Japan faces 16-time champion China.
The top four--Japan, Australia, Chinese Taipei and China--have qualified for the FIBA u-19 World Cup to be held In Madrid (Spain) next year.