Youth international basketball in Thailand, day 1 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship Women
Thailand may not be a major basketball nation in youth international basketball but were chosen by FIBA to host the eighth FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.
With the ending of the U22 World Championship, FIBA decided that the U19 championship would be played at two year intervals instead of four years.
From next year there will also be a U17 world championship for both men and women.
France had a perfect start to the tournament with a (89-47) victory against Korea in the opening game in Group A.
Australia also started with a victory as they overpowered Argentina (75-51).
In Group B Brazil showed no mercy in beating Thailand (104-45) while the 2001 champion, the Czech Republic defeated the 2008 U18 Women European Champion Lithuania (84-72).
Japan started their campaign with a victory against Tunisia (85-64) and Russia struggled before beating Canada (54-46) in Group C.
The USA won the title in 2005 and 2007 and had complied an 18-game winning streak in this competition. However they lost their opening Group D against Spain (86-90)
Leonor Rodriguez, who is planning to study in the USA, led the scoring for spain with 23 points which included 7 three-pointers from 8 attempts. Marta Tudanca and Marta Xargay contributed 21 and 19 points.
In the other game in Group D, China beat Mali (86-60).
France got off to a good start
France finished their U19 youth international basketball preparation with a game against the USA which they lost (86-47).
In their first match of the U19 World Championship for women France took four minutes to take control of the game (9-7). Seven minutes into the game Adja Konteh and Allison Vernerey marked their authority for their side to lead (16-7).
Korea fought back through Ga Young Kim and Gibbeum Heo with a 7-2 run but still ended up trailing (14-21) by the end of the first quarter.
France went all out in attack at the start of the second quarter which started with a three-pointer by Isabelle Strunc.
France scored 6 more points as they accelerated the pace. With 13 minutes played they led (30-16) after Margaux Okou Zouzouo connected from down-town.
Grégory Halin started to turn his bench as France maintained control to go into the interval ahead (47-26).
The third quarter was a lively affair with the two teams trading basket for basket for most of the period. France still held the advantage (63-42) going into the final period.
A change in tactics by France in the last quarter put an end to the resistance of Korea who then suffered a 22-0 hammering to finish the match.
For France Pauline Thizy and Verneray led the scoring with 14 points each. Okou Zouzouo scored 13 points and Aminata Konate dished out 5 assists.
Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.