INCHEON (FIBA Asia Championship for Women
) - India and Hong Kong notched up their third win in a row and were immediately looking ahead towards Wednesday's the Level II game against each other.
"I hope this the bad day we'll have in the Championship," said Indian coach Sat Prakash after his team huffed, puffed and scratched the bottom of their reserve before prevailing 67-63 against the profligate Uzbeks.
"I think we have got into a rhythm now. I hope we can continue this tomorrow," said Hong Kong's Assistant coach Wu Lai Fong after her team cruised along to beat Vietnam 78-59.
India struggled to get past the tallest rivals they have encountered so far. Tatyana Kildyusheva kept a tight leash on India's prolific centre Geethu Anna Jose and resultantly last edition's Level II winners struggled to get into their rhythm. It was only after the tall Uzbek centre, who collected seven rebounds after her regular checks at Geethu's attempts, was ejected for five personal fouls (5:35 left in the third quarter) did Geethu, and India, find any kind of fluency.
But by then, the perimeter shooters, barring Anitha Pauldurai, had become reckless and thus India had to count on the profligacy of the Uzbeks
India 67 (Geethu Anna Jose 27, Anitha Pauldurai 12, Kiranjit Kaur 10) bt Uzbekistan 63 (Vera Titova 20, Yelena Khushnitdinova 19, Alla Krasovskaya 12). (Quarterwise: 19-13, 28-33, 48-43). S Mageshwaran