India came up with a gutsy display, but couldn’t stop New Zealand from emerging a 66-63 winner in a Group A match of the FIBA Asian women’s under-18 basketball championship here on Thursday. India finished fourth and last in the group, and will fight to stay in Division A when it takes on Indonesia for the 7-8 positions on Friday.
After two defeats, India put up a great show and even looked like it could pull off a fine win. But, New Zealand proved a hard nut to crack.
Earlier, Japan topped Group B with a 76-59 win over China while Australia finished first in Group A, defeating Korea 96-66.
India took time to settle down. Trailing in the first two quarters — 9-17 & 23-36 — India fought back valiantly in the third. Picking up speed and combining well, India reduced the margin to just four points (47-51).
The final quarter was exciting. India equalised for the first time at 51 with eight minutes remaining for the final whistle. From then on it was a see-saw battle. India had its chances, but failure to convert free throws (18.8%) hurt the team, while New Zealand’s conversion rate of 83.3% made the difference.
Group A: New Zealand 66 (Florence Dallow 12, Lilly Parke 11) bt India 63 (Deepthi Raja 4, Sathiya Krishnamurthi 15, Manmeet Kaur 21).
Australia 96 (Tess Heal 16, Dallas Loughridge 13, Nyadiew Puoch 23, Isobel Borlase 12, Isla Juffermans 14) bt Korea 66 (Sol Kim 10, Jiwon Baek 13).
Group B: Chinese Taipei 81 (M. Jing En 10, Yu Wen Hsiao 18) bt Indonesia 16.
Japan 76 (Mlai Mori 10, Chinami Yokoyama 19, Msaki Sasaka 11, Yuzuyu Yasogawa 12, Nanami Tsuno 11) bt China 59 (Li Wenxia 18, Li Qingyang 14).