26 June, 2023
02 July
99 Monica Okoye (JPN), 3 Stephanie Mawuli (JPN)
Game Report
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Unstoppable Japan jump to another Final after taking down Tall Ferns

SYDNEY (Australia) - There was no stopping defending champions Japan as they swept aside New Zealand 88-52 in Sydney to make their sixth straight FIBA Women's AsiaCup Final.


The holders will take some stopping as they now look to extend their silverware streak to six consecutive titles when they step out on Sunday. Meanwhile New Zealand will still have the chance to finish their best ever tournament on a high as they search for a bronze medal.

Turning point:
 In reality there wasn't one. Japan hit a high gear early to take control and then raced out of sight to leave New Zealand trailing in their wake. It was a truly devastating 24-11 first quarter performance. 

TCL Player of the Game: Stephanie Mawuli produced what was arguably her best game of the tournament as she led Japan with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Stats Don't Lie: Either fast break points or points from turnovers always looked like being a number that would be decisive and it was the latter that strongly contributed to Japan's success. They scored 30 points from turnovers compared to 2 for the Tall Ferns which is reflective of the winning side only spilling the ball 5 times and New Zealand turning it over 24 times. 

Bottom line: Japan are exactly where they wanted to be - one win away from holding onto their cherished title and after this performance, they look on course. They never gave New Zealand a sniff of an opportunity by dominating early and showing they were in no mood for an upset. This ruthless and focused approach makes them one of the hardest teams in the world to live with .

 Consequently New Zealand might be disappointed they couldn't really get close, but the common issue of too many turnovers was always going to be problematic and so it came to pass. They were simply well beaten by a much better team. However, Guy Molloy and his players surely won;t be too down because they have a massive game still to play as they look to take that third podium step.