Rio de Janeiro: The ambitious Japanese women’s basketball team failed to make history at the Olympics as they lost 110-64 to the powerhouse United States in a quarter-final match here. The Asian champions, aiming for a medal finish, battled in every corner of the court in the first half on Tuesday before they were beaten by the Americans, reports Xinhua.
Japan trailed only 30-23 in the first quarter and closed in by just two points in the second on 46-44 before the US pulled away by 56-46 at the break. The US bench contributed 62 points, compared to 14 from the counterpart, when they extended the lead to over 40 points in the second half.
Seven Americans scored in double digits as Maya Moore and Taurasi led the team with 19 points each. Ramu Tokashiki led Japan with 14 points. Canada led for most of the match but surrendered down the stretch as France earned a berth in the semi-final against the US with a victory of 68-63. France turned a 13-points deficit into a one-point lead before the match was tied 50-50 at the end of the third quarter.
France scored eight straight points after trailing by 52-50 before Canada clawed back to 60-59. France scored next four points to give only 33 seconds to Canada, whoh failed to regain the lead.
In earlier matches, European champions Serbia snapped Australia’s medal finishing run in five consecutive Olympics with a 73-71 win. Australia have clinched three silver and two bronze medals since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Spain edged off Turkey 64-62 in another quarter-final match to set up a semi-final meeting with Serbia. –IANS
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