November 27, 2010
China wins double gold at Asian Games; India goes winless
Hosts China stamped their dominance over basketball in Asia after winning double gold in both the Women's and Men's tournament at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. China defeated the Republic of Korea in both divisions to clinch the title.
Nan Chen led a balanced attack for the Chinese Women on Thursday, November 25th with 17 points and 12 rebounds to overcome the Korean challenge, 70-64. All of China's starters scored in double digits as the hosts prevailed in the close game. Yeonha Beon scored a game-high 23 points in Korea's losing effort.
China 70 (Nan Chen 17 pts 12 rebs, Xin Guan 14 pts, Fan Zhang 7 rebs) bt. Republic of Korea 64 (Yeonha Beon 23 pts, Jung Eun Park 14 pts, Mi Sun Lee 5 stls). Halftime Score:38-29
Japan came third in the women's competition after beating Chinese Taipei 73-61 in the bronze medal game.
In the Men's final, China sustained a close lead for the whole game and fought off Korea's comeback to win 77-71. Former NBA player Zhizhi Wang scored 20 points to lead a balanced effort for China. Donggeun Yang for Korea added 17 points for the losing team.
China 77 (Zhizhi Wang 20 pts, Jinhui Ding 14 pts 8 rebs, Yue Sun 14 pts) bt. Republic of Korea 64 (Dongguen Yang 17 pts, Joo Sung Kim 15 pts, Sungmin Cho 15 pts). Halftime Score:43-37
Iran won the Men's bronze medal after beating Japan 74-66
The Indian teams did not have a successful competition after qualifying for Asian Games basketball after 28 years, as the Men and Women's teams suffered defeats in all their group stage match-ups.
The Indian Men's team had early success as the won their pre-qualification match-up against Afghanistan to enter the tournament's group stage. Trailing by eight points at half-time, a balanced effort from India's starters led to a succesful comeback victory 83-76. Jagdeep Singh led a balanced effort from the Indians with 22 points. Trideep Rai (18), Hareesh Koroth (17), and Yadwinder Singh (15) also chipped in with important contributions.
But India's five group games saw them fall to 0-5 against their opponents. Despite Hareesh Koroth's 24 points, India lost big to Qater, 97-48. Chinese Taipei played a high-scoring game against India which they won 93-66, as Jagdeep Singh again led India with 22 points. Jagdeep continued his strong play in the tough game against Iran next, scoring 24 points in a losing effort, where Iran won 78-63. Yadvinder Singh also added 17.
India had a promising start in their last two games, against the Philippines and Japan, but succumbed to late game fatigue at lost both. Philippines beat India 78-57 and Japan won 85-58.
In the Women's tournament, India were baptised by fired in their first game against a strong Chinese squad, who won big, 107-39. The Women continued to suffer in a tough draw, as their next game was against eventual semi-finalists Republic of Korea, who won 98-44. The Girls showed a much improved performance in their final game, as Geethu Anna Jose powered to 20 points and 12 rebounds against Thailand, still to lose a close game 62-54 in the tough fourth quarter.
Although the box scores might have shown a dismal performance for the Indian team, the truth was that both the Men and the Women showed glimpses of competitiveness in all their games, just to succumb to problems regarding fatigue. The Indian teams were just not fit enough to hang with Asia's best for 40 minutes a game, which led to several epic second half collapses.
But first qualification in 28 years is still a positive step up. Hopefully the influence left behind by American coaches Bill Harris and Tamika Raymond paves the way for a brighter future for the game in India.