HomeLatestRoundup: China wins Women's Basketball Asia Cup, Australia claims bronze

Roundup: China wins Women's Basketball Asia Cup, Australia claims bronze

SYDNEY, July 2 (Xinhua) — China dethroned Japan to win a basic closing on the FIBA Women’s Basketball Asia Cup right here on Sunday, whereas hosts Australia had a comfort third-placed end.

World quantity two China broke a 12-year title drought and ended Japan’s stranglehold of the event with a tense 73-71 victory to assert the gold medal.

MVP Han Xu capped off a dominant marketing campaign with 26 factors and 10 rebounds, whereas WNBA participant Li Meng hit clutch photographs to complete with 17 factors and 6 assists.

“It’s not easy to be champions of this tournament,” Han stated. “As the tournament went on, we had better chemistry. I really wanted to get this championship and I’m glad we are back on top of Asia.”

It was candy revenge for China, who had misplaced to Japan within the closing of the final two Asia Cups, together with a heart-breaking 78-73 defeat in 2021.

“It was really tough and today was a test against Japan,” China coach Zheng Wei stated.

“I’m glad our team didn’t give up and I’m very proud of our players because we hadn’t been Asia Cup champions for 12 years.”

Maki Takada top-scored with 17 factors for Japan, whose bid for a record-extending sixth-straight title fell brief.

“We tried really hard and all the players did well,” Japan coach Toru Onzuka stated. “We will learn from this game against this great Chinese team.”

China had lived as much as the billing of title favorites with an unbeaten run to the ultimate however confronted a red-hot Japan who had received every of their 4 video games by 25 factors or extra.

China’s possibilities of a record-equalling twelfth title had been made tougher with out captain Yang Liwei, who suffered a leg damage late within the semifinal towards Australia.

Little separated the groups in a high-quality begin till Japan took benefit of Han resting on the bench to attain the final 16 factors of the primary half.

Han fuelled a China comeback within the third quarter, however there have been a number of twists forward because the match went right down to the dying phases.

World Cup silver medalists China, nevertheless, held their nerve with a late 7-2 run proving decisive a lot to the delight of their robust contingent of followers within the stands.

After being overrun by China within the semifinals, Australia regrouped to beat New Zealand 81-59 to complete with the bronze medal.

Australia began quick to construct a 22-14 lead after the primary quarter earlier than extending the margin to double digits by halftime. They continued to smother New Zealand, who shot simply 3 of 20 on three pointers, and ran away with a simple win.

Alice Kunek had 19 factors to steer Australia, who had 5 gamers scoring in double figures, whereas New Zealand star Penina Davidson completed a robust event with 19 factors and 11 rebounds.

Australia had their fourth straight podium end since becoming a member of the competitors in 2017 and unveiled a number of rising stars, together with 24-year-old Anneli Maley who had 11 factors and 11 rebounds towards New Zealand.

“Super proud of my 11 other teammates. We got thrown together as a brand new team last week and the coaching staff did a great job putting together a game plan,” Australia captain Tess Madgen stated.

Having by no means earlier than gotten this far into the event, New Zealand fell in need of a primary Asia Cup medal however was inspired by a stable marketing campaign, which included thrilling wins over 12-time champions South Korea and the Philippines.

China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand certified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Qualifying event.

Winless Chinese Taipei was relegated and can be changed on the subsequent Asia Cup in 2025 by the winner of Division B held in Bangkok, Thailand in August.