26 June, 2023
02 July
Game Report
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China celebrate thrilling title success in front of Sydney sell out

SYDNEY (Australia) - China fought back to take their first FIBA Women's Asia Cup title since 2012 as they beat rivals Japan 73-71 in an epic Final that was played out in front of a huge crowd in Sydney.

Trailing at half-time, it looked like China would submit for a third title game in a row as reigning champions Japan took control in pursuit of their sixth straight crown. But China showed true resilience to get the job done with a strong second-half showing.

Turning point: Japan scored the last 14 points of the first half to take a 9-point lead at the interval and China needed to rescue the situation. They came out with all guns blazing with a brilliant start to the second-half and that put them back in the game in a big way.

TCL Player of the Game:
 Do you really have to ask? It had to be the magnificent Xu Han of course. The center finished the title game with a typically stellar 26 points and 10 rebounds to complete the amazing feat of recording a double-double in every game of the competition. 

Stats Don't Lie: China held Japan to just 5 fast break points and that was gold dust. They also shot the ball well themselves from outside, making 11 triples which was actually three more than Japan.

Bottom line: China had the best player in the tournament by some distance and it showed. Xu Han was dominant from the first day until the last and with Meng Li playing an almost constant cameo, it was such a great one-two punch to end their 12-year wait for a medal. Critically, in this all-important last outing, Siyu Wang had a super 17 points and that was so vital. The victory ends quite a year in Sydney for China, following on from their silver medal at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022. 

Japan will be disappointed that they had a strong grip on this game but let it go. They took far too many poor shots and it was that below par shot selection that let them down. But every champion team's run ends at some point and it was a tremendous five titles in a row that almost became six. They were only beaten by a single bucket and China did a great job slowing them down, so the credit really is with the winners, which means they can not be too disheartened. 

They said