JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): China and Japan, the two teams who have played the final of the last three editions of this event headed into the semifinals of the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women as the top two teams – in that order – finshing their Level I engagements on Wednesday with comfortable wins.
China, the reigning and 12-time gold medalists, toyed around with Thailand in their 81-37 win (Game Details) and Japan, the seven-time silver medalists aiming for their second gold medal in three editions followed suit beating Malaysia 84-29 (Game Details).
China came prepared to douse the enthusiasm Thailand had been showing in this competition. Yang Liwei regained her scoring touch and in tandem with Gong Li and Huang Sijing kept China in dominance throughout.
Gong Li (right in the combo pic above) led China’s scoring with 16 points and collected 7 rebounds.
Sirirak Daenkaewmoon and Supira Klanbut each had 10 points for Thailand, where coach Joe Bryant looked most conspicuous when he copped a technical foul for an impetuous remark on a referee call.
Thailand are headed for the Level I Qualifying Game against Hong Kong.
Japan too controlled the pace like China, using the game to spread the minutes for their players.
Kanako Masuoka’s (left in the combo pic above) 14 points for the highest for Japan, who now take on the No 3 team of Level – the winners of the Korea-Taipei clash – in the semifinals.
Michelle Lee’s 11 points was the only double-digit score for Malaysia, who now take on the No 1 team of Level II India.