China crush arch rival Japan in women's basketball group match at Asian Games

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-17 16:04:20|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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JAKARTA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese women's basketball team battered their Japanese counterparts 105-73 in the second group match of the 18th Asian Games here on Friday.

China crushed minnows Thailand by a margin of 68 points in their group opener, but Japan was undoubtedly one of the toughest rivals at the tournament following victories over China in the 2015 Asian Championships final and the 2017 Asia Cup semifinals, despite dispatching their second-string squad to Indonesia, missing several prominent names like Tokashiki Ramu and Yoshida Asami.

Witnessed by Chinese Basketball Association's President Yao Ming, Liu Jiacen opened China's scoring with two free throws, before teammate Li Meng snatched the following eight points. Li Yuan's layup on fast break pushed China on the brink of a double-digit advantage at 12-4, forcing Japan into a timeout early in the match.

Then Japan took advantage of their speed on consecutive fast breaks, cutting their deficit to three points. However, the Chinese team took on an 11-0 spurt to set up a comfortable cushion, and led by 35-22 as the first quarter ran out.

To better experiment the young squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, head coach Xu Limin offered more playing time to talented rookies Han Xu, Li Yueru and Li Yuan, as China extended their lead beyond 20 points early in the third period, and never seemed to be challenged en route to their victory.

Five Chinese players scored double digits, led by Li Meng and Liu Jiacen's 18 apiece. Han Xu made 8 of 9 field goals to add 16.

Hayashi Saki led Japan's scoring sheet by 17. Miyazaki Saori was the other Japanese player to finish double-figure points, scoring 10.

China will face Mongolia next Monday.