The Sky Sport Tall Ferns are one game away from ticking off their goal for the FIBA Asia Cup after toppling India 104-49 in Amman, Jordan this evening.
Fresh off an impressive defensive outing in which they restricted Olympic silver medalists, Japan, to 62 points, the Kiwis continued to make a nuisance of themselves without the ball and were equally as active on the boards – 55-35 was the final rebound count.
The win secured them a spot in the tournament’s playoffs, but it was also a timely reward for the efforts and sacrifices the team has made over the past two weeks and after not playing a test since 2019.
They went right to their bread and butter from the tip by feeding their forwards and the game plan reaped great reward. Penina Davidson feasted in the paint and amassed eight first-quarter points.
For every shot that didn’t sink though, it seemed as if they were at least getting a hand on the ball after it’d rolled off the rim. Their efforts underneath earnt them eight offensive rebounds, many of which ended in second chance baskets.
India fell behind 28-14 after the opening spell and decided to shift their focus to stopping the bleeding in close. However, the Kiwis pivoted their game with the extra time and space by way of three pointers. Ashley Taia, Mary Goulding and Davidson all found the twine from downtown on at least one occasion.
Their ball movement started to take a toll on the Indian players towards the middle stages of the third spell. As they began to slow, the Tall Ferns went up another gear. The likes of Charlisse Leger-Walker and Boagni didn’t need to think twice with the looks they were afforded!
Head coach Guy Molloy kept rolling the subs throughout the final 10 minutes and must have been happy with the way each of his players hounded their opposite until time expired.
The victory will also no doubt have given the Tall Ferns some added confidence heading into the knockout stages, where they will play the loser of the bout between China and Australia (currently in play). The game is scheduled for a 2:00 AM tip-off time on Friday morning.
Tall Ferns (109) defeated India (49) – BOXSCORE
Tall Ferns: Penina Davidson (18pts & 11rbs), Brooke Blair (16pts & 3ast) Tessa Boagni (13pts & 9rbs).
India: Shruthi Arvind (12pts), Sathiya Senthil Kumar (10pts & 6rbs), Stephy Nixon (7pts).