The bronze medal game of the 2019 Women’s U25 World Championship, was repeat of the pool A game between Great Britain and Japan, but this time a medal was at stake. In the previous game GB had come out on top 47-30.
After GB’s heart-breaking defeat yesterday against Australia, which saw them narrowly miss out on a place in the final, GB had certainly re-grouped and regained focus for the bronze medal game, dominating from tip. Scoring the first basket, they controlled the tempo in the first quarter, going into the second with a 16-6 advantage.
Japan called a timeout early in the second quarter to calm themselves, as they struggled to cope with GB’s full-court press. After the timeout Japan started to move the ball around the court better to create easy finishes forcing GB to this time call a timeout. GB reacted well from the time-out and picked up their high intensity press, helping them to finish the half with an eighteen point advantage, 30-12.
GB put on another strong performance in the third quarter outshooting Japan, to win it 21-10.
Japan continued to put up a fight in the fourth quarter, despite losing two players to injury, turning in an 8-point run to help bring the gap closer, but the game was already won, and Great Britain secured the bronze medal, 63-31.
Great Britain were led by their captain Joy Haizelden, who hit a triple-double of 14 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists, whilst Kotone Usui topped scored for Japan, making a double-double her own of 11 points and 14 rebounds.
GB’s Maddie Thompson said, “The team are feeling really pleased with that performance. To come out here after our loss against Australia was obviously really difficult but the team stayed together, and we stayed strong. We’ve done the job, we are coming home with a medal. I think everyone should be proud of our performances here, everyone has played and we’ve all had moments of perfection. We’ve got five of this team who will be at the next World’s in four years and then they’ll take on the mantle and be the seniors, and this experience will help them take over as the leaders of the team from the current seniors who will age out.”