FIBA Women’s Asia Cup basketball: India go down to Japan in opener

India lost 136-46 to Japan in Group A. They will next face South Korea and New Zealand.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by FIBA

The Indian women’s basketball team began their FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 campaign with a 136-46 loss to defending champions Japan in Group A at Amman, Jordan on Monday.

Up against world No. 8 Japan, who have won the last four editions of the competition, India, ranked 70th, endured a tough outing.

India’s Pushpa Senthil Kumar was the top-scorer for the team with 11 points while captain Shireen Limaye was the next best scorer with eight.

The Indian basketball team scored the first point of the match, with Sathiya Senthil Kumar making a two-point jump shot.

Japan, though, soon hit their stride and dominated the court to take a 41-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

India barely managed possession of the ball going forward, with Japan steadily increasing their lead and hit 100 points in the third quarter.

The Indian basketball team could only score seven points in the fourth and final quarter as Japan claimed a comfortable victory, helped by Kiho Miyashita’s game-high 27 points.

India will face another tough assignment against world No. 19 South Korea on Tuesday.

India have to finish top of Group A to seal a semi-final spot. If they finish second or third, India will have to compete in playoffs for a shot at the semis.

Teams earn two points for a win and one point for a loss. India are currently placed second in Group A with one point.