The National Under 18 3×3 Women saw off India and Turkmenistan in the group stages of the FIBA 3×3 Under 18 Asia Cup in Malaysia to progress to tomorrow’s finals.
First up was India, who battled with the Kiwis the full ten minutes. Helen Matthews opened the scoring with an easy one-pointer off of an Emilia Shearer pass, with the latter then converting on two shots inside the key to take the lead out to three.
The deficit was cut to two for India when Sreekala Rani laid the ball home after completing a spin move. She would score the game’s next point after a Jordyn Maddix miss, but New Zealand replied with two more points to stretch the buffer back out to three.
They would score once more before India rattled in two jumpers from outside the semi-circle. For the next three minutes, the two sides exchanged shots and the box score read 10 apiece with two minutes to go.
A 3-0 run from New Zealand pushed them into what appeared to be an insurmountable position with 60 seconds to go, however, bad fouls on back-to-back possessions gave India a sniff. Fortunately, the did not capitalise on the errors and the game finished 16-14 to New Zealand.
The second match was all about Shearer, who scored a whopping 13 of her team’s 21 points in the win over Turkmenistan. The Harbour representative proved a handful from the get-go, scoring the game’s first eight points.
Matthews would draw a portion of the limelight her way when she scored the ninth point, only for Shearer to pull it right back with two more scores and blow the advantage out to 11. Turkmenistan got on the board with three minutes to go, but by that stage, the Kiwis would have been safe to have engraved their name in their pool’s top spot.
All four team members chalked up a point before closing out the game 21-4. Their two wins set them up for a quarter-final clash with the Philippines tomorrow at 7pm (NZST). The Under 18 3×3 Men are likely to face Kazakhstan in their quarter-final, which tips off right after the women’s game at 7:20pm (NZST).
All of the matches are streaming live here.