The Indian women’s basketball team suffered a 69-107 loss to South Korea in Group A of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 in Amman, Jordan on Tuesday. This was India’s second defeat of the competition after their opening day loss to Japan.
Up against the world No. 19 South Korea, the Indians put up a commendable fight in the opening half but lost ground in the second.
Kang Lee-seul top-scored for South Korea with 18 points, a run that saw her drop six of the 10 three-point attempts, with Park Ji-hyun (15 points), Park Hye-jin (15 points) and Shin Ji-hyun (14 points) making key contributions in the match.
For India, captain Shireen Limaye (16 points) stood out with a respectable performance, especially in the second half, while Pushpa SK (12 points) continued her run in the competition with another double-digit score.
At the Prince Hamza Stadium, the world No. 70 India tried to match the Koreans stride for stride in the opening half. Quick breakaways, measured passes and accurate shooting saw India restrict the South Korean lead to just six points in the opening quarter.
Though India were effective going ahead, their defence was all over the place which barely improved as the game progressed. This resulted in them giving away 20 turnovers in the match.
South Korea’s Kang Lee-seul, meanwhile, ensured that she exploited the time and pace that India provided her with on the perimeter to measure her three-point attempts and sink those in at will.
Opening up a 16-point lead in the opening half, South Korea switched gears in the third quarter to take the game away from India. The Indian women’s basketball team could manage just seven points in the third, as compared to 33 by the South Koreans.
“The first half was extremely good for us. Yes, we lacked in transition in the defence and that hurt us,” the Indian captain Shireen Limaye said at the post-match press conference.
“But I am extremely proud of my girls that we are still standing here and we will fight tomorrow. We want to take one match at a time and keep improving one step at a time.”
India will take on New Zealand in their final group stage game on Wednesday.