China defeats Japan in a close game to win the gold medal.
China defeated Japan 74-72 in the women’s basketball final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium on Friday.
Wang Shiyu (14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) was the star of the show, hitting the game-winning layup, while Li Meng (17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) and Li Yueru (13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists) also had strong performances. China, which won gold at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, won its second consecutive Asian title and seventh overall.
China took the early lead. Huang Shijing’s three-pointers hit the rim in quick succession, while Han Xu and Li Meng also scored. Japan responded with baskets from Mai Kawai and Maki Takada, but this time it was Li Yueru who answered. Li Meng followed with a mid-range shot and then an outside shot to give China a 26-16 lead.
However, the Chinese struggled with a Japanese comeback in the second quarter. Aika Hirashita scored eight points in a row, including two three-pointers in quick succession. China fought back with attacks from Li Meng and Li Yuan, but they lost Monika Okoye and Himawari Akaho. After Kawai was called for an offensive foul, China went into halftime with a narrow 45-40 lead.
The second half was a close affair. China found their footing again with Han Xu leading the charge from under the basket. Japan clawed back into the game through Takada, but they didn’t let up. Liu Eru scored from under the basket and Wang Shiyu nailed a mid-range shot. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 57-51, still in China’s favor.
China’s real crisis came in the fourth quarter. Back-to-back misses from TODO Nanako and Takada. China got a respite when Liu Yueru scored, but then gave up points to Akaho and Kawai to eventually tie the game (65-65).
Still, China’s determination to win gold on home soil was strong. Wang Shiyu hit a three-pointer to regain the lead, and Li Yuan hit a mid-range jumper. Saki 안전놀이터 Hayashi then hit a three-pointer to tie the game once again, but Wang Shiyu hit the winning layup with two seconds left in regulation, proving to be the last man standing in a close game.
Meanwhile, Japan was led by Hayashi (17 points, five rebounds, three assists) and Takada (13 points, eight rebounds) but lacked a final shot. It was the first gold medal for Japan in 25 years since the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, but they were held off by China and settled for silver.