Day 6 Women: CHN 82 - JPN 63
ATHENS- After battling for 30 minutes, Asian champions China managed to beat Japan 82-63 to take ninth place in the 2004 Olympic Games Women's Basketball tournament.
Japan, fourth place getters in Sydney in 2000, finished 10th.
There was nothing in it for half an hour as China first blew away to a 26-12 lead early in the second period only to be pegged back by a Japanese surge that cut the margin to 30-29 at half time.
The third quarter was cut and thrust with China holding a slim 51-48 lead entering the final period.
That was when it all fell apart for Japan.
Taking complete control behind a dominant display on the boards (48-24), China finished with a 31-15 quarter to secure ninth place, the same position as in Atalnata in 1996.
For China, SUI Feifei was excellent, scoring 15 of her 25 points (with three-from-four threes, seven rebounds and four steals) in the last quarter. WANG Ling (CHN) contributed 22 points and 13 boards as China found a nice balance between the perimeter and the paint. MIAO Lijie (CHN) added 15 points and dished out five assists.
Kaori KUSUDA and Noriko HAMAGUCHI led Korea with 13 points apiece.
Luming GONG (CHN), Head Coach
On his team's participation in the Olympic Tournament:
"My team is very young and they could have done better in the Preliminaries. This was the first time they participated in Olympic Games, however. That does not mean that not qualifying to the next phase hurts any less. We hope that in the next Olympics taking place in our country we will be more prepared and with the peoples support we hope to do better. I wish all the best to the teams that got through to the Quarterfinals."
Source: Athens News Service