Opals qualify for 2018 World Cup

Canadian players cheer during Friday's quarter-final win over China at the world under-19 women's basketball championship in Udine Italy

Despite finishing group play with an 0-3 record, Perlas only needed one win to advance to the 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup but China made it known pretty quickly that the Philippines will not have a breakthrough win in the tournament.

With Australia's plan to silence Japanese star Manami Fujioka executed to near perfection, Japan found an unlikely heroine in Saki Mizushima.

At just 170 cm, the 23-year-old point guard has personified two-time reigning champion Japan's ball movement-focused offense, showing such promise that she has all but usurped Asami Yoshida's place on the team. The U.S. led 47-33 at intermission.

Li Yueru paced China, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Alanna Smith checked in during the second term and put in a scintillating five minutes, collecting seven points and five rebounds as she continued to pressure the North Koreans under the rim.

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Australia's Kelsey Griffin was the top scorer in the gold medal encounter as she managed a tally of 30 points, but it proved to be in vain as Japan held on for a dramatic victory.

Chennedy Carter had 18 points, Joyner Holmes added 14 points and six rebounds, Tyasha Harris finished with 12 points, four rebounds and six assists and Bella Alarie had 11 points and five rebounds.

Australia were undone by three-point shooting, with Japan draining 11-of-25 from long-range compared to the Opals' 4-of-19, with their 36-20 scoring advantage in the paint unable to make up the disparity.

UConn's Crystal Dangerfield had an off game, making 1 of 9 shots for three points along with two assists and two steals.

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