Opals' Asia Cup campaign suffers serious setback with Japan thrashing
Japan romped to a 91-66 victory behind Mai Yamamoto's dominance.
Credit: May Bailey Photography
Before the Opals game, China, the number two ranked team in the world, survived a scare to hold off a gallant Korea in overtime, 87-81. That result meant China finished top of Group A, and Australia could avoid them in the semi-finals by defeating Japan and topping Group B.
But it was not to be, with the five-time champion Japan again getting the better of Australia at a Women’s Asia Cup event, this time in comfortable victory. With this loss, the Opals must now regroup quickly to play Korea. The winner of that game progresses to the semi-final against China.
Despite the heavy defeat, Australia had started promisingly, with Japan uncharacteristically sluggish in the opening minutes. Darcee Garbin picked off a stray Mai Yamamoto pass to open the scoring with a fast break basket, and the Opals raced to a 15-6 lead.
But Japan is great at problem-solving; when one type of offence isn’t working, they quickly scrap it for another option.
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