Medan (Indonesia), Aug 4 (IANS) The Indian under-16 girls basketball team slumped to their third consecutive loss as they went down 32-96 against China on day three of the Asia U-16 Championship here on tuesday.
Heading into the encounter, India’s key performers were shooting guard Rutuja Pawar (averaging 12.5 point per game), centre Sushantika Chakravortty (7 rebounds per game) and point guard Nishanti Masilamani (4.5 assists per game).
As a team, India had also shot the ball fairly well from the freethrow line (77.8 percent) in their first two matches against Korea and Japan. But India have struggled with turnovers, losing possession 34 times on an average in the previous games.
China led from frombeginning to the end, amassing scores of 32-5 and 22-11 in the first two quarters. India’s quarter-wise scoring was restricted to single digits, barring the second period when India tallied 11 points.
Significantly, India drastically cut down on turnovers (17 TOs in the game) to reduce their margin of defeat. For China, Yu Lou had a double of 17 points and 11 rebounds with four steals to boot.
Unlike India’s earlier opponents, the Chinese defence stood firm and did not commit any fouls against India in the act of shooting. As a result India were unable to get to the freethrow line even once.
While no Indian player scored in double digits, centre Ria Sharon was the most effective with seven rebounds, four points, an assist and a steal.
India will be looking to treat their first three losses as learning experiences in anticipation of their next opponent Thailand, ranked one place lower than India at 40. The clash will take place on Wednesday.