FIBA Asia U18 Women – Taiwan lost to China in semifinal

Taiwan lost to China again in a rematch in the semifinal of the 2010 FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women and will have to meet South Korea for the bronze medal. China will meet Japan again and try to get a  revenge for the bitter loss two years ago, when Japan beat China to win its first Asian junior women gold for the first time in history.

FIBA reports are listed as follow:

CHN/TPE – China take charge after initial sparring, romp into final
 
SURAT THANI, Thailand (20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): Last edition’s silver medalists China outscored their rivals 11-3 in the second part of the first quarter, took charge of the game and went on to defeat Chinese Taipei 85-56 in the second semifinal on Tuesday.

China, thus, set up a repeat clash for the gold medal with defending champions Japan.

China also became the second team – after Japan – to book their ticket to Chile as a FIBA Asia representative at the 9th FIBA World U19 Championship for Women to be held in the South American country. The top three teams from this Championship will represent FIBA Asia in the U19 World Championship.

Taipei will take on Korea in the bronze medal game on Wednesday preceding the final, and the winners will take the third berth from FIBA Asia.

China sparred Taipei on equal terms in the initial phases of the game. But when Taipei threatened to open up a lead and went ahead 15-10, China hit back in kind and with customary panache.

Liang Jiamei fired in two three-pointers and Sun Mengran came up with a three-point play even as Yu Dong converted twice from the foul-line. And China had turned a deficit on its head and went into the first break with heads high.

The lead on the scoreboard and control in proceedings was one way – in China’s favor – after that.

Gao Song returned a game-high in scoring and rebounds – 22 point and 12 rebounds.

Li Meng had a 12-point game as all but one Chinese player scored.

Huang Hsiang-Ting was the highest scorer for Chinese Taipei with 10 points.

JPN/KOR – Confident and composed, Japan cruise through to final
 
SURAT THANI, Thailand (20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): Defending champions Japan tightened the defense just at the crucial juncture of their semifinal game against fellow East Asian rivals Korea and romped home to a 67-60 victory on Tuesday.

The win also meant that Japan become the first FIBA Asia team to book their ticket to the 9th FIBA World U19 Championship for Women to be held in Chile from July 20-30, 2011. The top three teams from this Championship will represent FIBA Asia in the U19 World Championship.

“It’s nice to continue the momentum,” said Tatsushi Isshiki, for whom it was the 13th successive win with the Japan U18 women’s team.

Isshiki was also the coach of the team from the Land of Rising Sun, when they went on a 7-0 spree en route to the maiden gold medal at Medan two years ago.

“We had to wait and watch their game,” Isshiki said of Japan’s stutter in the initial phases of the game.

Moeka Nagaoka’s back-to-back successes – the first off her own steal and the other converting an offensive rebound – put Japan level for the first time in the game as the defending champions closed the first quarter at 19-19.

Aoi Katsura capped her drive in the lane following a steal to open the scoring for the second quarter – their first lead in the game – and Japan managed to remain ahead for the remainder of the game.

Katsura scored five more in the second quarter, and eventually finished with 14 points.

Naoko Chikahira had a game-high 18 points to lead Japan’s scoring.

Not that Korea were blown off.

The former champions did attempt a fightback in the fourth quarter bringing the deficit to as less as two points, but Japan always had control of the scoreboard.

“Our defense was fantastic in the second quarter,” Isshiki said.

“Initially, the girls struggled to sort out their screens, and their outside shooters were doing a good job,” he said.

“But I think we need to face and fight these challenges if the girls have to improve their game. There’s no point in having a roller coaster ride throughout,” he reasoned.

Korea’s perimeter shooting, normally their mammoth strength, struggled and as a result their scoring too.

Jihyun Lee was Korea’s highest scorer with 14 points.

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