By defeating Kazakhstan 75-73 in a neck-and-neck encounter, the Indian women's basketball team has now cracked the Division A of the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.
In the Division B final encounter between India and Kazakhstan, the home team vanquished the challengers to be able to clinch their spot in the Division A, for the next edition of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup.
The PTI report especially highlights the performance of Kazakhstan centre Nadezhda Kondrakova, who scored from inside and outside at the onset. It states that for the Indian side, it was a team effort as Shireen Limaye and guards Anitha Paul Durai, the country's most experienced player who scored nine points, and Raspreet Sidhu, amongst others, held on to clock the desirable finish. Jeena Skaria scored 20 points in the match taking place in Bengaluru, a performance that was crucial to the victory.
For this impressive showcase, Jeena partly credits Anitha's team-building skills and zesty attitude on court.
“She’s so supportive of us. 'Go Jeena, go shoot a basket’, she would mumble on court. She motivates not just me but everyone in the team. Her experience is always on show. Our coordination is great and it all happens on the spur of the moment," she said to Bangalore Mirror.
"All the hard work over the past five months paid off," said India star Shireen Limaye, as reported by this Firstpost article.
"Our aim was to get to Division A because we finished fifth once and we want to be at that level again. We couldn’t perform well last time, but that’s behind us. It’s clicking for us now. The coach asked us to give our 100 percent on the court. He asked us to play with our heart and we just did that,” said Jeena to Bangalore Mirror.
Pleased by this performance, the Basketball Federation of India president K Govindaraj will also be presenting a cash prize of Rs 15,00,000 to the team.