The two teams clashed to determine the seventh-placed team of the tournament.

The Indian women’s basketball team finished their 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup campaign with a 70-74 loss at the hands of the Philippines at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.

This was a match to determine the seventh-placed team in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. India had finished bottom of Group A, whereas the Philipinnes did likewise in Group B. Therefore, both teams were desperate for a win to end their campaign on a high. Janine Pontejos gave the Philippines a quick start with a three-point jump shot followed by a two-point floating jump shot. Despite, an early 0-5 deficit. India gradually clawed it’s way back into the contest. By the end of the first quarter, the scoreline read 19-13 in favour of India.

A neck-and-neck contest continued in the second quarter as well. Sathiya Senthil Kumar came alive to maintain India’s lead going into the break. At halftime, the Young Cagers had a 39-34 lead. However, Zoran Visic knew that the girls had to maintain the same intensity in the second half as well.

The third quarter began with the Philippines coming out with renewed vigour and determination. Camille Izabel Clarine made a three-point jump for the Philippines, only for Shruthi Arvind to respond with a similar move for India. Afril Bernardino levelled the scores with a two-point driving layup. After that, Gilas Pilipinas began to take charge of the contest and were the first to break the 50-point barrier. India trailed by 52-55 at the end of the third quarter of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup clash.

The fourth and decisive quarter started with the Young Cagers on the front foot. However, they couldn’t continue the momentum. Despite coming mightily close, India fell just short in its endeavours. The final score read 70-74, with the Philippines coming out on the right side of it. Ana Alicia Katrina Castillo’s excellent outing meant she was the highest points scorer for Gilas Pilipinas, registering 22 points. As for India, Pushpa Senthil Kumar was the top scorer, with 15 points. This is India’s fourth consecutive loss in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup to close out their continental campaign.

Tough time amongst the continental elite

With Thursday’s defeat, the Indian team will go home from the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup with nothing to show for their efforts. They had succumbed to comprehensive defeats against Japan, South Korea and New Zealand in the group stage of the tournament. However, they can take pride in the way they fought against a higher-ranked opponent on Thursday.

Overall, this is India’s third successive defeat to the Philippines, following on from their 2015 and 2019 meetings. Prior to that, the Indian team had secured three consecutive wins against them in the 2004 and 2005 editions. Therefore, the head-to-head record between the two teams is now tied at 3-3.

Earlier in the day, record FIBA Women’s Asia Cup champions South Korea secured a hard-fought 80-74 victory over Chinese Taipei in the qualification semi-finals. Whereas, Australia triumphed 72-61 over New Zealand in the Oceania Derby. South Korea will now have to tackle China, while Australia faces Japan for a coveted place in the final of the continental showpiece.

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