Opals fall to China in familiar fashion, will play for Asia Cup bronze
The Australian Opals' hopes of an Asia Cup gold medal ended last night.
Image credit: FIBA
The Opals will be playing for bronze later today after falling last night to China in a semi-final, yet again. It was an all too familiar story for Australian fans as Chinese superstar Xu Han dominated, just as she did in the World Cup semi-final last year to lead her country to victory.
While Han was dominant, hitting 4/5 triples, Australia’s three-point shooting —or lack thereof— meant they were fighting an uphill battle all night, eventually falling 74-60. Draining just 5/16 shots (31%) from beyond the arc, Australia couldn’t find their offensive groove.
They’ve looked at their best throughout the tournament when they’ve moved the ball and found open shooters. Swift ball movement didn’t eventuate against China and there’s no doubt Han’s presence played a huge role. Guards driving into the paint were met with much more resistance, while the bigs were affected by just having to deal with Han, knowing her length and defensive instincts were never far away.
The amount of seemingly regulation layups missed by the Opals bordered on maddening.
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