Historic year continues for Indonesia with promotion to Division A
BANGKOK (Thailand) - Indonesia gain promotion to FIBA Women's Asia Cup Division A after a spirited and intense game worthy of a Final against Iran, 55-54.
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This continues to be a historic year for Indonesia as this promotion gets them to FIBA Women's Asia Cup Division A for the first time since 1994 when the two-division format was adopted.
Previously in the year, Indonesia had also won their first-ever gold medal in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The game wasn't decided until the very last second as Iran closed the gap down to only one point with only a few seconds left in the game. Indonesia left the door of opportunity open as they missed their free throws, but they made up for it by collecting the offensive rebounds to not give Iran the opportunity to overtake the lead.
Both teams made it to the Final by being teams that excelled on defense and certainly played the part in a low-scoring affair.
Nathania Orville led Indonesia in scoring yet again with 16 points, knocking down 4 three-pointers on 5 attempts. Kim Pierre-Louis also recorded another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Turning point: Indonesia started the fourth quarter by extending an on-going run that extended to 11-0. Even though Iran made their way back to within a single point, it was a big enough cushion that left Iran scrambling out of their usual game plan.
Of course, the offensive rebound by Nathania Orville after the late missed free-throws was obviously key to Indonesia holding on as well.
Player of the Game: With Orville leading the way in scoring and securing that important offensive board, she stands out as one of the most important players in this game for Indonesia. But it is tough to count out Yuni Anggraeni who scored the four points that ignited the crucial fourth quarter run, as well as Dewa Ayu Sriatha.
That's without mentioning team leaders Pierre-Louis and Agustin Gradita Retong, who were solid rocks for the team.
Stats Don't Lie: Iran made only 39.5 percent of their attempts inside the arc. They played well on defense, they moved the ball well, they did a lot really well... but it's tough to win when you can't convert well enough close to the rim.
Bottom line: This was going to be a historic game either way. Neither team have ever played in Division A, so coming into the game everyone knew that for one of these teams, it would be a chance of a lifetime.
Indonesia will get to find out sooner than Iran if they are up to the test of Division A play, while Iran will have regroup and regather for the next opportunity.