It is the fourth straight and fifteenth overall U18 women’s title for China. This result means China have ruled this competition in ten of the last eleven editions, falling short only in 2008 against Japan.
Li Yueru stood tall again for China with 22 points and 23 rebounds while also shooting 11-of-22 from the field. Compatriot Wang Jiaqi also impressed with a game-high 29 points to go along with 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
Japan kept things close after the first quarter, trailing by just 5 points at 17-12, and they were still within striking distance at half-time, with China ahead, 33-24. Coach Cong Xuedi’s team, however, outscored their Japanese foes, 23-11, in the third period to erect an insurmountable 56-35 lead heading into the final frame. From then on, China were on cruise control to book their seventh victory in as many games.
Mai Yamamoto was the lone Japanese to score in double-digits with 13 points.
Joining China, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei in Level I for the next FIBA Asia U18 edition are Southeast Asia sides Indonesia and Malaysia, who prevailed in their respective classification games yesterday.