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FIBA Asia Women - Japan win overtime thriller against Korea
BANGKOK (FIBA Asia Championship for Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Japan scraped a 78-71 overtime triumph against Korea on Tuesday night to remain the only unbeaten team in Level I of the FIBA Asia Championship for Women.
Ramu Tokashiki, Japan's 22-year-old center, had a monster performance with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
She made two free-throws with 11 seconds remaining to knot the contest at 69-69, and Korea's Beon Yeon Ha was then called for a travelling violation with less than two seconds remaining and the game went to the extra period.
In the overtime, Japan took the lead for good when Tokashiki powered her way up for a lay-up on the team's first possession.
After Beon made just one of two free-throws, Japan stretched their advantage to four when Michiko Miyamoto nailed one of her five three-pointers on the night.
She and point guard Asami Yoshida finished with 15 points apiece.
Yuko Oga, the captain of a Japan side that came up with nine steals and forced 16 turnovers, hailed the defensive work of her teammates.
"That was a team win," Oga said.
"The most important thing is we did a great job on team defense, and team offense. It a team win.
"We have to play even more aggressive on defense. Today is one game, but tomorrow (against India) there is another.
"We have to show more Japan style of basketball."
Korea had had an opportunity to take a three-point lead late in regulation but Lim Yung Hui made just one of two free-throws, and that opened the door for Tokashiki to knot the game with her two free-throws 11 seconds from the end.
Huang Ping-Jen helped Chinese Taipei overcome a nervous start against Kazakhstan with one of the top performances of Day 3.
The 24-year-old erupted for 21 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 37 as the Far East team prevailed, 87-57.
When asked if she'd ever had such a great shooting night, Huang, who drilled six of seven from behind the arc and 13 of 21 overall, smiled and answered: "Never."
Chinese Taipei led 11-10 with just 1:12 to go in the first quarter when Huang, who had started, re-entered the game.
She immediately buried a jump shot for her first points of the contest then caught fire in the second frame as Lin Hung Ling-Yao's side went in front by 13.
Kazakhstan fell behind by 26 but mounted a charge that saw them close to within 15 at the end of the third quarter.
Huang kept the pressure on not only with her scoring but her defense.
The 1.78m forward came up with six steals and Chinese Taipei pulled away late in the fourth quarter for a decisive win.
In the day's first game, China rolled to a 97-36 victory over India.
The Chinese scored the game's first 17 points and led 34-10 midway through the second quarter.
Tom Maher's team dominated in all aspects of the contest.
They had 22 fast-break points to just two for India, and also poured in 23 points off 17 India turnovers.
India were completely overmatched.
"To give them (India) respect, we have to play as hard as we can," Maher said.
"But more importantly for us is that we learn how to play a way so that you can make a little tactical variation, but your style and your culture have to be the same."
In other words, China have to establish an identity.
"You have to project it, you have to live it," Maher said.
"We have to use that game to make us better.
"India helped us for tomorrow night (against Chinese Taipei), hopefully, because they gave us a game, they played genuinely and didn't sulk or cry.
"They played the game out, there was no dirty play. They played with honor, but it's just a different league."
In the Level II part of the competition, the Philippines beat hosts Thailand in a battle of unbeatens, 65-59.
Indonesia downed Uzbekistan, 71-60, and Malaysia cruised to a 73-38 triumph over Hong Kong.
For full and in-depth coverage of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship for Women, go to the official http://bangkok2013.fibaasia.net.