Gems finish off a strong tour of China

Gems finish off a strong tour of China

The Gems were caught off guard in their final game against the Czech Republic today, as the Czech team came out firing. Connecting with their first four shots, and then completing a quarter of accurate shooting they extended an early lead to a strong 19-11 margin.

The Czech hot form continued early in the second quarter before the Gems, through Alex Bunton were able to convert consecutive baskets. However, by half time the Czech girls had extended their lead by a further three points (37-26).

In the third quarter the Gems came out determined to turn the game through a tougher approach to defence that extended to the full court.  With Gretel Tippett, Nadeen Payne and Tayla Roberts coming into the game, and some effective scoring by Rebecca Allen they closed the gap to just one point.

When the Gems took the lead for the first time in the final quarter expectations were high that they would finish this tour with a win.  The Czechs had other ideas and surged themselves through persistent guard penetration to the basket. 

As several Czech players fouled out, the Gems surged one final time, but some missed opportunities in the final minutes left them short by 7 points (65-72)

The loss left the Gems on top of a three way split with USA and Czech Republic, and finishing second to China who were undefeated for this tournament.

“This was a game in which we struggled in a number of important areas, and yet had plenty of opportunities to take the win,” said Gems head coach Cheryl Chambers. “Overall, it was great to play a nine game tour designed to simulate the rigours of the World Championship. 

"We now have a lot to work on before our next camp in early June, and the championships in July.”

Rebecca Allen: 14pts, Tayla Roberts: 12pts, Alex Bunton: 10pts, Gretel Tippett: 8pts, Nadeen Payne: 8pts

The Gems finished the tour with a positive score line taking the head to head battle 2-1 with each of the participating teams: China, USA and Czech Republic. 

They won two of the tournaments (Shangluo and Shuozhou) and finished second in the other (Ya’an). They now take a short time to recover before they get back onto the court. There is a lot of work to be done to get ready for the World Championships to be held in Chile during the last two weeks of July.

Click here for Gems' China tour image gallery