FIBA Asia women’s cup: Japan wins again
Japan underlined its contender status by posting a second successive victory in Division A of the FIBA Asia women’s cup on Monday. The powerhouse unit outran and outplayed South Korea 70-56 at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here. Later in the day, China shut out Chinese Taipei 102-63 for its second win.
The quick-footed Japanese side, led by point guard Asami Yoshida, set the pace early. Full-court press was used to good effect, which resulted in plenty of fast-break points.
Yoshida, one of the best play-makers in the continent, stood out as a supreme athlete. The 5’5” hoopster had the sparse crowd on its feet when she leaped over the sideline to retrieve a loose pass. Not only did she reach the ball, but managed to pull off a no-look pass — while in the air — to an open teammate.
Yoshida recorded eight assists in all, while the scoring was handled by Moeka Nagaoka (13 points), Fujioka Manami (14) and Takada Maki (10). A small group of South Korean supporters brought some welcome energy to the largely lifeless venue. The fans, students from Seoul who are in the city on an exchange programme, rallied behind the North Korean side as well.
The results: Division A: Australia 107 (Sara Blicavs 17, Stephanie Cumming 18, Katie-Rae Ebzery 12, Alanna Smith 12, Lauren Mansfield 12, Laura Hodges 10) bt Phillipines 65 (Janine Pontejos 18, May Lim 11); New Zealand 71 (Harmon Jillian 23, Micaela Cocks 16, Kalani Purcell 11, Antonia Edmondson 10) bt North Korea 50 (Hyang Jong 17, Suk Yong 15);Japan 70 (Moeko Nagaoka 13, Manami Fujioka 14, Maki Takada 10) bt South Korea 56 (Hui Yung Lim 12, Hana Park 10, Yeong Joo Kwak 12);China 102 (Huang Sijing 25, Li Yueru 19, Huang Hongpin 15, Shao Ting 11, Shen Yi 10, Gao Song 10) bt Chinese Taipei 63 (Huang Ping-Jen 13, Lin Yu-Ting 12).
Division B: Lebanon 118 (Nour Schoucair 21, Chirine El Charif 13, Miramar Mokdad 14) bt Fiji 48 (Bulou Koyamainavure 13, Seini Dobui 12); Kazakhstan 73 (Tamara Yagodkina 16, Oxana Ossipenko 14, Zalina Kurazova 15, Oxana Ivanova 10) bt Singapore 52 (Cheryl Poon 15, Jacqueline Chu 13).