29 August, 2015
05 September
4 Liwei YANG (China)
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Japan and China win respective Semi-Finals, set to meet in Final

WUHAN (2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship) - Japan withstood a stiff challenge from Chinese Taipei, and China drubbed Korea to book the two tickets to Saturday's Final of the 2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship.

Chinese Taipei mounted a late rally in Friday's first Semi-Final, but defending champions Japan were able to weather the storm and prevail, 65-58.

Japan looked well on their way to a comfortable win after Asami Yoshida hit a three-pointer with 3:32 left in the game to give her team a 61-50 lead. Coach Otis Hughley's side, however, had one more run in them. Behind Chang Chi-Fang, Wei Yu-Chun, and Chang Hsin-Ko, they rallied to cut the deficit to four, 62-58, with 2:12 to go.

Chinese Taipei, however, couldn't complete the comeback. They turned the ball over, missed open shots and failed to get second-chance opportunities as Japan steadied themselves and survived in the endgame.

Ramu Tokashiki and Sanae Motokawa combined to score 30 points in the win for Japan, who now have a chance to defend their crown in the Final. Yoshida also handed out 9 assists in a great showcase of playmaking.

Bao Hsi-Le paced Chinese Taipei with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Chang Chi-Fang dropped 13 points.

In the second Semi-Final, Korea rallied in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late as China rolled to a 60-45 triumph.

The hosts leaned on a strong start to immediately suppress the Koreans, who scored only six points in the first period. Coach Tom Maher's charges didn't take the pressure off the throttle in the next two quarters, building up a commanding 25-point lead heading into the final frame.

Korea were able to put up a semblance of a fight in late in the fourth quarter, last threatening after Lee Kyung-Eun's jumper trimmed the deficit to 56-45 with 2:32 left to play. China tightened up their defense, however, and didn't let the Koreans score another basket.

Strangely enough, only one person scored in double-digits for China - Huang Hongpin, who dropped 10 points and 8 rebounds. Korea, meanwhile, drew 12 points from Yang Ji-Hee, while Kim Dan-Bi added 11.

Earlier in the day, the Philippines and DPR Korea both earned the right to get promoted to Level I (Group A) after winning their respective games.

Perlas Pilipinas subdued India, 82-76, to move up to the elite set. Afril Bernardino exploded for 32 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the Philippines, while compatriots Allana Lim and Merenciana Arayi added 20 and 12 points respectively. For their part, India were paced by Jeena Skaria and Anitha Paul Durai, who notched 28 and 19 points respectively.

In the other promotion-relegation game, DPR Korea defeated Thailand, 66-50, to book their own place in Level I. Ro Suk-Yong recorded a sublime near-triple-double with 10 points, 16 rebounds and 8 steals, while Sin Hyon-Ok hit four three-pointers en route to 16 points. It was a splendid way to end the competition for DPR Korea, who go home winning all but one of their assignments.