JINAN, China (2nd FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Women): A 11-0 run at the end of the first quarter proved enough for Japan to win their semifinal game against Chinese Taipei 84-55 on Saturday and book a place in the final, and ticket to the 2012 FIBA World U17 Championship for Women.
The win extended the mini-Hayabusa’s run to six wins in the competition and also to their second successive final in this event, having finished with the silver medal 1st FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Women at Pune (India) two years ago.
Evelyn Mawuli (pic above), the only player remaining from that silver-winning team, played a pivotal role in giving Japan the edge on this day.
Mawuli scored 4 of the points in that pivotal run for Japan at the end of the first quarter, went on to finish with 20 points, and 11 rebounds.
“I just did what the coach told me to do,” Mawuli said.
“Yes, I have the experience, but I am happy to be able to use it and take the team to the World Championship,” she added.
Ai Yamada, who started that run with a blistering long-ranger, led Japan with 22 points.
“I think we got our rhythm going well,” said Japan coach Hayashi Shinichiro.
“The girls played with a lot of confidence and without much fear. I was scared of them (Taipei) playing with nothing to lose attitude and our girls succumbing to that,” he said.
“But I think we kept our composure very well,” Shinichiro, who was also the coach at Pune said.
Han Ya-en led Taipei’s scoring with 14 points.
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