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Japan are crowned FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2017 champions
BENGALURU (FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2017) - Unlikely hero Saki Mizushima stepped up big time and led Japan to a thrilling 74-73 victory in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2017 Final over Australia.
It was a historic win for Japan as it is the first with new entrants Australia and New Zealand in the fold.
With the Opals holding a 39-33 lead at the half, Japan buckled down to work in the third quarter, outscoring Australia, 26-14, to take a 6-point lead entering the fourth period. The Aussies managed to tie the game one final time at 71-all before Mizushima hit her seventh and final three-pointer of the game to give Japan just enough breathing room till the final buzzer.
Mizushima paced the winners with 26 points, while tournament MVP Kelsey Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds for Australia.
Griffin was joined in the All-Star Five by Japan's Manami Fujioka and Moeko Nagaoka, China's Li Yueru and Korea's Lim YungHui. The MVP and All-Star Five awards were offered by Tissot.
Earlier in the day, China upended Korea in the battle for third place, 75-51. Chinese Taipei blew out New Zealand, 65-45, for fifth place, and the Philippines retained their Division A status after beating DPR Korea, 78-63.
The top-four finishing teams will travel to Spain for next year's FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.
FIBA (fiba.basketball) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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