Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022: China thrash Bosnia and Herzegovina, but first real test awaits vs United States
- Zheng Wei’s side make it two wins from two games in group A in Sydney on Friday, with dominant US next up
- Three-time defending champs hammer Puerto Rico 106-42, for 24th consecutive win at the World Cup – a run stretching back to 2010
China kept up their 100 per cent record at the 2022 Fiba Women’s Basketball World Cup on Friday, sweeping aside Bosnia and Herzegovina 98-51 – but the first real test awaits them in the form of three-time defending champs the US on Saturday.
Zheng Wei’s side led 26-21 after the first quarter in Sydney, before they extended their advantage to 19 points at half-time, and wrapped up another comfortable victory after trouncing South Korea 107-44 in Thursday’s opener.
Five Chinese players hit double figures in their second outing in Australia – Han Xu led the team with 18 points, while Li Meng added another 17 points.
Earlier, the US continued their quest for a fourth straight title by thrashing Puerto Rico, while Serbia upset Olympic silver medallists Japan.
The Americans won 106-42 to make it two wins from two games in Group A as they target an 11th overall crown, after easing past a strong Belgium on the opening day of the 10-day championships.
The US shot 54 per cent from the field with Shakira Austin, Kahleah Copper, Brionna Jones, Jewell Loyd, Breanna Stewart and Alyssa Thomas all in double figures.
“Defensively, again, led by Alyssa with six steals, I think we were just really hard to play against,” coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We also had a bench that was really, really good.”
It was their 24th consecutive win at the World Cup, a run stretching back to 2010.
Thomas said the score did not properly reflect what they had achieved.
“We were working on our team chemistry and we added a lot of new pieces,” she said. “Games like this are helpful.”
Puerto Rico won their first-ever World Cup game on Thursday when they crushed Bosnia and Herzegovina 82-58.
But they were no match for the mighty Americans, who blunted the dangerous Arella Guirantes.
Guirantes scored an incredible 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in that Thursday win, but was restricted to just seven points in her near-20-minute court time.
“Today we didn’t show up. We were playing the best team in the world, but I think we didn’t try,” said Puerto Rico’s disappointed coach Jerry Batista. “We must learn from this. We have to be more aggressive.”
Ominously, the Americans were again not even at full strength.
The Las Vegas Aces’ Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and A’ja Wilson arrived in Sydney jet-lagged early on Friday after their team sealed the WNBA Finals last weekend, so they took no part.
Asian champions Japan poured in 16 three-pointers in their 89-56 thumping of Mali in Group B on Thursday, but managed just five from 22 against Serbia – and it cost them.
The Serbs raced into a 24-9 lead in the first quarter before Japan woke up, but the margin was too great and they slumped to a 69-64 defeat.
Jovana Nogic led the way for Serbia with 13 points and nine rebounds, making amends for the team’s 67-60 loss to world No 4 Canada in their opener.
The top four teams from each of the two groups progress to the quarter-finals.