AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women): Japanese hopes of a maiden appearance in the final were dealt a blow when the team lost 62-91 (Box scores) to Spain in the semifinals of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women on Saturday.
Japan, who had finished fifth at the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in France, will now play for the bronze against Canada, who lost to USA 59-84 in the other semifinal.
Leticia Romero and Maria Arrojo combined for 48 points for Spain.
Romero scored 13 of her 27 points in the first quarter and Arrojo’s 21 points were her first of the tournament after missing the group stage injured.
Marina Lizarazu added 13 points and Laura Quevedo chipped in 12 for the Spanish, who lost to Japan in group play.
The Japanese were paced by Ai Yamada with 14 points and Ayane Itani with 13 points.
The low post duo of Yunika Nakamura (pic above) and Evelyn Mawuli were held to just 16 points and 13 rebounds combined – 11.3 points and 2.5 rebounds below their combined averages coming into the game.
Earlier in the day, Korea had beaten Mali 57-39 (Box scores) to finish ninth.
Park Ji Su had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 steals while three others had nine points for Korea.