In a game delayed by 24 hours, New Zealand began their FIBA Asian Championship campaign in India on Tuesday with an 81-64 loss to Korea.
Down by 14 points at quarter time, the remaining 30 minutes better reflected the evenness of the contest – the difference just 3 points in favour of Korea (53-50) as the Kiwis established a much firmer footing in the game.
Allyah Leusogi-Ape led the scoring for New Zealand with 16 points, on 7 from 10 shooting, Lilly Parke was also in double figures with 11 points, Flo Dallow scored 9, while Mackenzie Chatfield had 7 assists to go with 6 points.
Due to heavy rain in Bengaluru the previous day, the competition venue experienced some leaks resulting in the game being put back one day. However it was the New Zealand defence that looked a little porous early, as they gave up nine unanswered points in the opening two minutes.
Jyordanna Davey had the distinction of scoring New Zealand’s opening points of the championship, the Wellington forward with 6 points as the Kiwis worked their way back into the contest. Behind 22-14, they unfortunately gave up the last half dozen points of the opening period to trail 28-14 at quarter time.
Parke scored the opening basket of the second quarter but with Korea scoring the next 6 points in transition, New Zealand coach Natalie Visger needed a timeout.
A brace of baskets from Leusogi-Ape initiated New Zealand’s best spell of the opening half – a jumper from Vitolia Tuilave and a triple from Parke meaning the Junior Tall Ferns had the better of the final five minutes of the period (11-6) to enter the locker room at the interval 44-28 behind.
New Zealand began the second half in encouraging fashion, by reducing the deficit to ten points after a triple from Leusogi-Ape.
Korea countered with an 11-point run, before a layup from University of Portland freshman Dallow and a triple from Cantabrian Kate Herman kept New Zealand in touch at the last break – down 67-47.
The Kiwis were looking more assured the longer the game went on and that was emphasized by the fact they won the final period 17-14; with the Northern Kāhu duo of Chatfield and Leusogi-Ape combining for 9 points during this stretch.
Despite the result New Zealand, will be better for getting over their opening game nerves – although Coach Visger will be demanding better ball security and a greater effort on the boards, where Korea enjoyed a whopping 55-31 advantage with the offensive rebound count a damaging 27-8.
However, it doesn’t get any easier for New Zealand as next up they face World #2 ranked Australia – tip-off 8pm (NZT) Wednesday.
New Zealand 64 Korea 81
New Zealand: Leusogi-Ape 16 PTS | Parke 12 PTS & 5 REBS | Dallow 9 PTS | Chatfield 6 PTS & 7 ASSISTS
Korea: Jinyoung Park 18, Seonjing Park 14
New Zealand Schedule: (times given are local in New Zealand).
- Tuesday 6 September LOST 81-64 v Korea
- Wednesday 7 September v Australia, tip-off 8.00pm
- Thursday 8 September v India, tip-off 00.30am (Friday September 9)
- Classification games commence on Friday 9 September.
The Asian Championship doubles as a qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIBA U19 World Championship. The top four teams in India qualify for the World Championship in Madrid, Spain in July 2023.
All games will be shown live via https://nz.basketball/tv/
Links to the streaming, rosters, statistics and live stats can be found here: https://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u18awomen/2022
NZ U18 Women’s National Team
Maia Chandler – Waikato Basketball
Mackenzie Chatfield – Harbour Basketball
Aria Cowley – Waikato Basketball
Florence Dallow – Harbour Basketball
Jyordanna Davey – Hutt Valley Basketball
Kate Herman – Canterbury Basketball
Allyah Leusogi-Ape – Basketball Auckland
Maddie Morrow – Canterbury Basketball
Sydney Neale – Waikato Basketball
Lilly Parke – Basketball Auckland
Lauren Tewhata – Wellington Basketball Association
Vitolia Tuilave – Waitakere West Auckland Basketball
Selected but unavailable due to injury:
Alana Paewai – Waikato Basketball
Head Coach – Natalie Visger
Assistant Coach – Shay Haira
Assistant Coach – Liam Connelly
Team Manager – Katherine Wills
Physio – Shannon Spicer
Team Doctor – Jamie Lockyer