China move past Japan, secure final spot in Asiad women’s basketball

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JAKARTA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) — China made into women’s basketball final after sailing past Japan 86-74 at the 18th Asian Games here on Thursday.

Captain Shao Ting led China with 16 points. Li Meng and Yang Liwei added 14 and 11 respectively.

Shao spearheaded China’s 7-0 spurt into the match with two layups and an assist to Li Meng for a three-pointer.

Japan opened their scoring through Mio Shinozaki’s jumper, followed by teammate Saki Hayashi’s shot beyond the arc.

Talented Chinese point guard Li Yuan did her own job with five points in a row, before China built a 20-17 lead as the first period ran out on Wang Siyu’s two free throws.

China withstood tough challenge on their guard position, as Shinozaki and Hayashi attacked the basket on consecutive occasions.

Thanks to a three-pointer from Huang Sijing, China had a double digit advantage for the first time throughout the match with 4:30 remaining in the second quarter.

Leading by 40-30 into the second half, China extended their margin to as many as 20 points in the third period through all-round performance from different players, and managed to maintain their lead until the final whistle.

Five Japanese players scored double-figure points, led by Shinozaki’s 17.

China aim at reclaiming the glory after losing to then hosts South Korea in the final four years ago.

They will take on Unified Korea team in Saturday’s final, as the latter saw off Chinese Taipei 89-66.

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