AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women): Japanese hopes of a maiden medal were dealt a blow when the team lost 77-84 (Box scores) to Canada in the bronze medal play off of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women on Sunday.
Japan, however, had the pleasure of seeing two of their players – Yunika Nakamura (pic above) and Evelyn Mawuli – being named in the tournament’s All-Star line-up.
Japan finished fourth – one place better than two years ago – with Nakamura’s 27 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists going in vain.
Ai Yamada had 12 points, Saori Miyazaki added 11 points and Evelyn Mawuli chipped in 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Canada came out strong and had a seven-point lead in the first quarter before the Japanese closed within 23-20 after 10 minutes.
The Japanese nailed three three-pointers in the second quarter in taking their first lead and expanding it to 11 points and went into the locker rooms up 51-40.
Canada picked up their defense and were much better offensively in putting together eight straight points in a 24-9 stretch to open a 64-60 gap. And the Canada lead was 68-63 after three quarters.
Natsumi Nagai and Nakamura both converted three-point plays and Mawuli’s put-back brought Japan within 72-71. But Canada responded with the next six points to effectively put the game out of reach.