Indian women sail through Lebanon by 79-69 to book their spot in the finals of Asian Basketball Championship Division-B.
India was struggling till the half time & it was Lebanon who had a upper hand but despite the trail, Indian women came back strongly to crush their opponents & book their clash against Kazakhstan in the Finals.
In the first quarter, Lebanon was the more aggressive team. Despite none of their players touching 6 feet, Lebanon outrebounded India and created 6 second-chance points.
Lebanon held a 4-point lead entering the second quarter, leading 20 to 16.
In the second, Lebanon continued their good shooting and was also forceful on drives to the basket. For India, the scoring came from multiple players. Raspreet Sidhu found her touch, while IMG Academy graduates Barkha Sonkar and Kavita Akula contributed with a triple each. India entered halftime down by 5 (33 to 38).
The third quarter was an up-and-down affair with both teams finding the bottom of the bucket at regular intervals. For Lebanon, the 3-point barrage continued from Lama Moukaddem and Rebecca Akl. Paul Durai hit a buzzer-beating triple to end the third, ensuring that the Lebanon lead remained at 2 points (58-56).
In the final period, both teams played good defense in the first five minutes. Lebanon continued to maintain a slim lead, until India forward Jeena Skaria caught fire, hitting three straight shots and knocking down a technical freethrow, putting India ahead by 6 points. India never looked back, holding off Lebanon and maintaining their lead in the final minutes. Late clutch freethrows from Jeena and Raspreet sealed the deal, giving India a memorable 79-69victory.
The final will be up against kazakhstan & it will be interesting to see if India continue their good run, last time both teams met each other in 2013 where India registered their first-ever victory of Division -1.
Final is all set to be played on Saturday, 29th July at 17:45 IST.