Team China's hoop heroes end wait for Asia Cup glory

By SHI FUTIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-02 14:47
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Members of the gold medalist team China celebrate during the awarding ceremony of the 2023 FIBA Women's Asia Cup in Sydney, Australia, July 2, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Han Xu, Li Meng star in final to dethrone Japan

After a 12-year wait, the Chinese women's basketball team stood on the highest podium at the FIBA Women's Basketball Asia Cup once again, beating defending champion Japan 73-71 in a thrilling final in Sydney on Sunday.

In a roller-coaster decider, the teams were tied 17-all at the end of the first quarter. Team China only managed nine points in the second period to give fans a major scare.

However, the Chinese aces bounced back after halftime, displaying remarkable resilience as Han Xu and Li Meng made crucial shots in a nail-biting finale to secure the win.

"The result almost feels surreal to me. Before the Asia Cup, it was not something we expected. We experienced ups and downs throughout the tournament, but no one ever gave up — even just a little bit. And we really focused on improving on both ends of the floor," said head coach Zheng Wei.

"The Asia Cup has been out of our grasp for over 12 years, and I'm thrilled that we finally did it. The Chinese women's basketball team has a great and proud tradition, and we need to pass it on."

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