BENGALURU, India, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Japan won over China 71-68 in the final of the 2019 FIBA Women's Asia Cup here on Sunday, going for its third straight title of the event.
Japan's Nako Motohashi, who crowned the MVP at the Asia Cup, pocketed 24 points and eight assists in the final thriller. WNBA player Han Xu earned 18 points and seven rebounds for China, but her team failed to bring the trophy back to China for the first time since 2011.
Japan converted 9-of-15 three-point shots, 60 percent accuracy compared to 8-of-17 for team China. The tiny advantage survived Japan in the tough game.
China had a 10-4 start and took a 19-17 lead in the first period before it went on a 9-1 scoring run midway into the second quarter to have a double digit advantage, but they allowed the defending champion to trim its deficit to one point before the half break.
Li Yuan pocketed five points consecutively at the beginning of the second half, but Japan responded with a 9-2 run and turned the tables around during the third period. Japan found its pace, making its rival trail 54-51 after three quarters.
China twice narrowed the gap to one point in the fourth quarter, but failed to overtake.
With 22.5 seconds left before the full time, Wu Tongtong kept her team's hope of coming back through a three-pointer, trimming the deficits to three points. But Shao Ting missed the final three-point which may lead the game into an extra period.