BEIJING (FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship 2017) - China have been a force in the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship 2017, and burly Liu Yutong has been on the forefront.
The 16-year-old Yutong can be considered a "young veteran" of sorts for China, first seeing action two years ago at the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship 2015 in Medan, Indonesia. Yutong, then just 14 years old, played in all of China's games in that competition, averaging 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while playing under 13 minutes per game.
Needless to say, Yutong was already a solid contributor then, and she has met lofty expectations here in Bengaluru so far, putting up even better numbers. In Medan, her best game was dropping 12 points and hauling down 15 rebounds against Thailand, completely dominating the opposing frontline. This time around, the 1.95m is averaging 16.3 points ands 13.0 rebounds per game. Her best game so far was against Japan, where she scored 20 points and hauled down 19 boards.
Along with 1.85m Wan Jiyuan, Yutong has patrolled the middle really well for the Chinese, who are looking to win their third U16 title in a row and fourth overall. Her size, skills and experience should continue to come in handy for coach Liu Jun, especially in the upcoming Quarter-Finals, where they will face East Asia rivals Korea. Should China prevail, Yutong and her teammates will likely battle Australia in the knockout Semi-Final for the right to play in the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship 2017 Final.