08 - 11
February 2024
Game Report
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Comeback Queens Hungary keep Olympic hopes alive after thriller with Japan

SOPRON (Hungary) - The party is underway in Sopron after hosts Hungary got their first victory of the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a dramatic 81-75 comeback win against Japan.

They trailed by as many as 13 points in the contest after another slow start, but recovered and pushed on to take a memorable success in front of their jubilant fans.

It also sets up an incredible last day of action with a four-way tie in the 'Group of Death' and all teams locked up with one win and one loss.

Turning Point:
 There were so many stunning shots dropped by Hungary in crunch time, but surely the turning point was late in the second quarter when they shifted up a gear and drew level heading into the locker rooms at half-time. That made it a new game and provided the platform for a second opportunity to take the famous win.

TCL Player of the Game:
 Hungary center Bernadett Hatar went to work and stepped off the court with 17 points and 8 rebounds. She was a handful for the Japanese defense and shot a stellar 73 percent from the field. 



Stats Don't Lie: Hungary forced Japan into taking less triples at 28 and they only made 33 percent which for Japan is average. Hungary shot slightly better from downtown and nobody saw that coming. But it was the outstanding 40 bench points compared to 10 for Japan that made the difference - as well as out-boarding them 43-23.

Bottom Line:
 Hungary were on the ropes after a poor opening but they came back magnificently. Their team basketball was sensational with so many ballers contributing with some huge shots and plays. That is exactly the brand of basketball they showed last year at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket. The high post entry was killing Japan in the third quarter and their guards finally got some long-range attempts to drop.

Japan were sensational against Spain in their first game, but this is the type of inconsistency that has dogged them since Tokyo 2020. They struggled when Hungary made it a half-court game and killed the tempo. It was not a bad performance, but they let a win slip through their fingers.

They Said: "Yesterday was not our team. But today, we didn't give up for a second and were fighting for each other. This is who we are and I am just glad that we could show it." Hungary center, Bernadett Hatar

"I think we showed everybody that we can play at this level. Physically and mentally. It was an excellent game. We showed our character. We were on the top level and the spectators were like I have never seen in my life. It was a great game." Hungary head coach, Norbert Szekely

"Of course, losing is tough. But we have one more game to play and we have to be prepared for it the day after tomorrow." Japan guard, Saori Miyazaki

"The atmosphere in the Arena was so tough. The fans had energy for the Hungary players. They played really good but also the Japan team played well, just not for the whole 40 minutes. We have one more game, so we will prepare for this." Japan head coach, Toru Onzuka.