Women's basketball takes center stage in Bangkok as the FIBA Asia Championship for Women kicks off in Bangkok. The tournament, which started on Oct 27 and will last until Nov 3, is the Asian qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Championship for Women, to be played in Turkey.
The tournament is divided into two sections according to the relative strength of the teams. Level I is composed of China, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, India and Kazakhstan. Lebanon was supposed to have been included in the group, but was not able to participate due to suspension. China and Korea have 42 FIBA Asia podium finishes between them and have appeared in the World Championships a combined 20 times. China is led by 6'9" center Wei Wei, while Korea boasts 24-year-old 6'8" Ha Eun-Joo.
Korea eked out a win against China, 72-70, and routed India, 109-62. China is 1-1- following a 103-62 win over Kazakhstan. Japan has had the finest start so far, beating Kazakhstan by a mile, 94-59, and Chinese Taipei, 69-57.
The dark horse for the 2013 tournament, India, has one of the continent's best players, center Geethu Anna Jose. Jose was the leading scorer in FIBA Asia 2009 and was invited by three WNBA teams for tryouts. So far, though, her leadership seems to have gone for naught as the Indian national team are mired in a 0-2 hole early in the tournament.
In Level II, composed of Malaysia, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines, the Filipinas and Thais are currently tied for first place. The top two teams at the end of the elimination round will face the bottom two teams of Level I in a bid for promotion.
Catch the live scores and play-by-play here: http://bangkok2013.fibaasia.net/
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