Roundup: China, United States start impressively in Women's Basketball World Cup-Xinhua

Roundup: China, United States start impressively in Women's Basketball World Cup

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-09-22 22:35:30

SYDNEY, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States both recorded convincing victories to make day one statements at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup here on Thursday.

An aggressive China crushed South Korea 107-44 in a commanding performance marked by their athleticism and size advantage dominating on both ends.

Playing a high-octane style under head coach Zheng Wei, a youthful China gained an early stranglehold to build a double digit lead and they never relented in a one-sided contest.

It was a near flawless performance for China, who tuned up for what should be a far tougher test on Saturday against three-time defending champions United States in a Group A blockbuster.

No.1 seed United States earlier on Thursday comfortably defeated Belgium 87-72, which started with the basketball powerhouse scoring the first 12 points inside three minutes.

But hot shooting from Julie Allemand ignited a comeback for Belgium, who finished fourth in 2018, in a free-flowing contest.

The U.S. pulled away in the third quarter and then cruised to an expected victory with WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart a force on both ends with 22 points, three steals and three blocks.

"It was about what we expected. We knew we were going to come out hard and do things well but also make mistakes. It was the first time we were on the court with this team," Stewart said.

The victory was made more impressive with the United States missing three players who are still on their way to Australia following the WNBA Finals.

In the other Group A game, Arella Guirantes' 26 points led Puerto Rico to their first ever World Cup victory with an 82-58 upset over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Group B's marquee late night contest, France soured the return of legend Lauren Jackson with a 70-57 win over host Australia.

After starting on the bench, 41-year-old Jackson entered to a loud ovation midway through the first quarter but misfired on her first field goal from beyond the arc.

Jackson, having retired in 2016 due to chronic injuries, launched an audacious comeback earlier in the year. She made amends with a three-point shot shortly after but it was her only basket of the game.

France spoiled the party and held their nerves down the stretch with WNBA player Gabby Williams starring with a game-high 23 points.

In the other Group B games, Asian champions and Olympic silver medallists Japan showcased their shooting mastery with 16 three-pointers highlighting an easy 89-56 victory over Mali.

World No. 4 Canada had to work harder but edged past Serbia 67-60 in a tense contest.