1st Semi Final Game of the 23rd FIBA Asia Women Championship, Chennai (India).
CHENNAI (23rd FIBA Asia Women Championship) - Defending champions Korea became the first FIBA Asia team to book a place in the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women blowing away Japan 101-57 in the first semifinal on Wednesday.
Korea thus made their third straight final entry, and 21st gold medal appearance overall, in FIBA Asia Women Championships.
On Thursday, Korea will take on the winners of the second semifinal between China and Chinese Taipei in an attempt to win their 13th title.
Japan will play against the losers of that game for the third place, with the bronze medalists earning the third berth from FIBA Asia for the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women.
Beon Yeonha began the scoring for the game with a trademark three-pointer and Korea scored the first seven points of the game.
Beon Yeonha scored 10 of her 12 points for the game in the first quarter at the end of which Korea led by a staggering 33-5.
Kim Kwe Ryong scored nine of her game-high 19 and Jung Sunmin fired six points in the opening quarter.
Korea never looked back from there, and all three were sparingly used after that.
Kim Jungeun came into her own scoring 14 points and Park Jungeun added another doezen.
Giant centre Ha Eunjoo was fielded for only seven minutes in the game – that too in the fourth quarter – but the 202 cm former WNBA player shot a 4/5 on the field.
“It’s nice to beat a good team. Especially in a semifinal game at this level,” said Korea coach Lim Dal Shik.
“Well, we didn’t expect it to be this easy, but then nothing is easy at this level. Just that we executed our plans well,” he added.
“And we didn’t execute ours,” said Japanese coach Fumikazu Nakagawa.
“They played with a lot of fire in their belly. I think losing to China last night spurred them a lot,” said Japan guard Yuka Oga, who scored a mere two points during her meager 13:27 presence.
Kumiko Yamada was the highest scorer for Japan with 12 points.