26 June, 2023
02 July
Game Report
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China make fourth Final in five editions after easing out Opals

SYDNEY (Australia) - China proved too strong for host nation Australia in the Semi-Finals as they completed a 74-60 triumph to set up a repeat of the 2019 and 2021 title games with Japan.


Australia will still have the opportunity to finish the tournament with a place on the podium since they will face a battle against neighbors New Zealand for the bronze medal. 

Turning point: With the outcome delicately balanced towards the end of the third quarter, it was a one-shot game at 43-41 to China. They then went on a 14-2 run either side of the third and fourth quarter break. That really did put  China in the ascendancy and provided them with the launch-pad to push on for victory. 

 TCL Player of the Game: Who else? It just had to be Xu Han who continued her majestic tournament with another massive contribution towards China's title quest. The center claimed her fourth double-double in succession as she torched Australia with 17 points, 15 boards and also added 4 blocks and 3 assists.

Stats Don't Lie: The tables were completely reversed in this game. Normally it is Australia getting massive points from their bench players but they only had 17 in this game, while China had a phenomenal 39 bench points. China also finally found their shooting touch from long range and fired 9 triples.

Bottom line: China had too much - or rather they had the outstanding player not only in this game, but in this tournament in Xu Han who continues to look unguardable at times. What really mattered was China balancing out her dominance in the paint with some sharp-shooting from distance as their perimeter game had been the thing that needed shifting up a gear. With Meng Li quieter than normal, the 13 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds from Siyu Wang was a hugely pivotal cameo. 

Australia were always going to be underdogs in this game and simply couldn't handle Han effectively and lost their way late in the third period. Nothing came easy for them and barely anything in transition meant it was hard work. Still, they can and will probably bounce back with a bronze medal if they play to their potential in the derby against the Tall Ferns. A mouth-watering prospect even if there will be a tinge of disappointment they couldn't make the Final.

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