Serbia start strong; hold off Japan

A FAST start from Serbia has seen the White Eagles claim a thrilling win over Japan when the two sides clashed early on Friday in the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup.

The White Eagles managed to burst out of the gates in the opening term, and it held them in good stead for the remainder of the game. Despite a strong second and fourth quarters from the opposition, Serbia managed to hold on for a five-point triumph.

It was a strong bounce back from the White Eagles after a loss to Canada on the opening day of the tournament. Japan came into the game fresh off a win, and had the capability to post a winning score with a number of contributors in that result. However, it was Serbia’s shooting accuracy from behind the arc that ended up being the difference.

The White Eagles made 32 percent of their attempts from three-point territory, which was nine percent more accurate that Japan’s shots from range. While Japan was better from inside the arc, it was not enough to make up for their innacuracy from range.

Serbia outscored the opposition 24-9 in the opening term, and while Japan whittled that margin back to four points at the main change, an even contest in the second half saw the margin remain around that number for the rest of the game.

There was an impressive number of scorers for Serbia, with five players scoring double-digits over the course of the match, which is an encouraging sign. Leading the way was Jovana Nogic, who had 13 points and nine rebounds, and nailed three shots from behind the arc. Yvonne Anderson (12 points), Kristina Topuzovic (12 points), Ivana Raca (11 points) and Tina Krajisnik (10 points) all chimed in for some timely buckets.

Maki Takada was the standout for Japan, delivering a game-high 15 points on 5/7 shooting. She played a key role in dragging Japan back into the game and continued her strong start to the tournament.

In other Friday results, the United States delivered a booming 106-42 win over Puerto Rico, Belgium wAS 23 points too good for Korea, and China continued its hot form with a big triumph over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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