JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): Twelve-time, and reigning, gold medalists China looked far from settled right through the game, yet carried enough mettle to beat last edition’s bronze medalists Chinese Taipei 79-69 in a Level I game on Saturday.
There certainly was a sense nervousness in every offense China played and anxiety every time they defended. Taipei on the other hand played a lot more within themselves.
“This is the first game. May be the youngsters put themselves under a lot of pressure,” China coach Li Xin defended her team.
“I am quite satisfied with the way we played. The opening game is always a cause for concern, especially with the youngsters,” she added.
Adding to Li Xin’s anxiety was the twist on her ankle Hu Yaoming suffered during the third quarter.
“We were guarding against exactly such an accident,” Li Xin added.
“But thankfully, it (the injury) is not major. And she’ll be back tomorrow,” the coach added.
Huang Sijing (pic above) came off the bench and had an identical 7/10 on the field as well as in free-throws for her 21 points to lead China’s scoring.
Zhang Liting and Yang Hengyu each had a dozen points.
Chen Yen-yu led Taipei’s scoring with 16 points.
“I think we did try hard,” Taipei coach Chang Yi-Te said.
“I am really happy the way we have started this competition. I do believe that to stop China at 79 points is an achievement for our defense,” she said.