Defending champions China failed to overturn a 12-point deflect in the last quarter, losing to Japan 55-62 here Thursday at the 25th FIBA Asia Women's Basketball Championship.
Japanese center Ramu Tokashiki scored Japan's all 12 points in the final quarter to help team stay unbeaten. Tokashiki grabbed a double-double of match-high 20 points and 12 rebounds, added three assists and three steals. Yuka Mamiya had 15.
Japan outscored China 46-22 in the paint and produced 20 points from China's 18 turnovers.
Chinese captain Chen Nan scored 16 while Lu Wen added 11.
"Our post defense is a very big disappointment. We didn't play the way we planned to play," said Thomas Maher, head coach of China. "All the post defenses were disasters. Very immature."
"The game showed immaturity as a team. We were interrupted on offense and didn't find solutions. That's just a sign of immaturity," explained Maher.
"This game we played very hard. But we played without any basketball intelligence. That's immature basketball. As they get old, they can't have that excuse. In one more year, a lot of these mistakes are not acceptable."
"Though we were trailing throughout the game, we never gave up. That's something for sure," said Chinese veteran Chen. "We didn't play our game and the young players did not get used to the pressure that Japanese team gave on us. It's hard to win a match with such a low score."
China finished the preliminary stage with three wins, two losses and are quite likely to face South Korea, who beat them with a buzzer-beater on Sunday, in the quarterfinals.
"The loss (to South Korea) was just two points from buzzer. It was a defense mistake. I think we would have won that game through overtime," said Maher.