Australia's Marianna Tolo competes with Japan's Asami Oshida for the ball.
Australia's Marianna Tolo competes with Japan's Asami Oshida for the ball. ARMANDO BABANI

Aussies edged out in Asia Cup basketball thriller

BASKETBALL: The Opals have come away with a world championships spot and Kelsey Griffin a MVP award but not the gold medal at the Asia Cup.

The Opals fell at the final hurdle at the tournament in India, beaten for the gold medal by one point in a thriller with Japan.

The sharp-shooting Japanese overcame a six-point half-time deficit to take the gold medal match 74-73.

Japan, who Australia beat in the quarters, set up their win by outscoring the Opals 26-14 in the third term with Sam Mizushima lethal in offence with an extraordinary seven three-pointers.

Mizushima ended the match with 26 points but it was Australian MVP Kelsey Griffin who topscored with 30 points and 15 rebounds.

The top four finishers at the Asia Cup have now qualified for the world women's basketball championships to be played in Spain next year with China finishing third and Korea fourth.


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