SURAT THANI, Thailand (20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): Atchara Kaichalyapoom’s third quarter rise to scoring spotlight provided the spark hosts Thailand had hitherto missed, and were looking for, in their Level I Qualifying Play-Off game against the taller Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
Riding on a new found energy, Thailand closed in on their defense and went on to win the game 75-63.
The win will take Thailand to Level I of the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women two years later. Thailand had last played in Level I in the 2006 edition of the event at Bangkok.
Kazakhstan, who had qualified to Level I at Medan two years ago, will be return to Level II for the next edition.
“We were looking for that one good opportunity to break open the game. She was the catalyst for our win,” Thailand coach Zhao Xuan Min said of Kaichalyapoom’s show in the third quarter.
Kaichalyapoom (seen in red jersey in the picture above) scored all the six of her game’s points during the third quarter.
Kornkano Kotchrat led the scoring for Thailand, but two of her 24 points came in the third quarter. Kotchrat also collected 18 rebounds for a double-double.
Aungkana Buapa scored five of her 14 for the game, and Pornnutcha Sawatong accounted for four of her 16 in the third quarter to provide the supporting for Kaichalyapoom.
“The only way we were going to win was by tiring them out. Which is what we did in the first half,” the Chinese said.
“Our shooters also struggled a little in the first two quarters, because of the height difference,” he pointed out.
“But things worked according to our plan. We went into the second half with our homework well done. The girls did very well to execute them,” he said.
Anna Vinokurova (seen in white jersey in the picture above), the tallest player on court returned a double-double, but in a losing cause. The 191-cm center scored a game-high 29 points and collected 14 rebounds.
“Now, we go back to the drawing board to check and rectify our mistakes,” said Kazakhstan coach Andrii Miekhovykh.
“Of course it is disappointing and frustrating to be relegated, but that is the reality. They outpaced us in the third quarter and we never recovered,” he added.
For Game Statistics and Detailed scores click here