30th September 2023 – (Hangzhou) China dominated the basketball court with a resounding 101-52 victory over Indonesia, while South Korea staged an impressive comeback to defeat DPR Korea 81-62, securing their second consecutive win in the women’s basketball tournament at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Friday.
China’s Li Meng opened the scoring with a swift layup, followed by her two successful free throws after nearly four minutes. Despite missed attempts from centre Han Xu, shooter Jin Weina, and Huang Sijing, China’s towering height advantage posed little challenge against Indonesia’s offensive drives.
Although China struggled with their shooting touch in the second quarter, they managed to extend their lead. A buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Luo Xinyu at the corner concluded the first half with China comfortably leading 40-18.
During the halftime break, NBA legend centre Shaquille O’Neal made an appearance in the arena, adding excitement to the atmosphere as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival coincided with the game.
As the teams returned from the locker rooms, Li swiftly knocked down a 3-pointer, announcing the resurgence of the world’s second-ranked team, while Han dominated the paint. China continued to increase their points, and the game settled into a predictable rhythm without any major interruptions.
Li Yueru led China’s scoring with 22 points, supported by Li Meng’s contribution of 18 points.
China’s head coach, Zheng Wei, acknowledged that her team’s defensive focus was strong, but they fell short offensively. She emphasized the importance of reviewing and analysing their performance to improve, considering it a valuable opportunity for growth.
Kimberley Pierre Louis of Indonesia, who scored 22 points and secured nine rebounds, expressed her admiration for the experience of playing against China. She praised China’s formidable team and expressed pride in her own team’s effort and program.
In an earlier Group C fixture, Kang Lee-seul and Kim Dan-bi each scored 16 points, leading South Korea to a comeback victory over DPR Korea, who relied on a seven-player rotation. DPR Korea’s 20-year-old centre, Pak Ji Na, stood out with an impressive performance, scoring 29 points.
In other games played on Friday, Japan dominated Kazakhstan with a convincing 92-30 win, the Philippines cruised past Hong Kong, China with a score of 99-63, Chinese Taipei rallied to defeat Thailand 58-54, and India narrowly defeated Mongolia 68-62.
As expected, Asia’s top three seeds, China, Japan, and South Korea, have all secured two consecutive wins, currently leading their respective groups.