Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Semi-final day in Ankara

The semi-final of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament is really a Final 4 with the winner going to the Olympics and the rest going home empty handed.

Yuko Oga ©  womensbasketball-in-france.com Yuko Oga (in picture) from Japan explained after her team had lost to the Czech Republic (47-53) that she only joined the team three weeks ago because she had returned from rehabilitation and despite the defeat the team was okay and would be focused for the next game.

She kept her word as she took over the point guard duty in their semi-final match and knocked in 20 points and dished out 5 assists in the victory against Korea.

In the second quarter-final, Canada not only won the rebounding stakes against Argentina but also the match (58-41) to book their place in the final game against Japan.

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Japan 79-51 Korea

Canada 58-41 Argentina

2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women: Japanese players acknowledge fans ©  womensbasketball-in-france.com

Japan powering their way past Korea

Japan fired in 21 straight points to lead (23-2) after seven minutes. They more or less killed the game as a contest by the end of the first quarter (29-4).

Japan hit 11-of-15 shots from the floor during the first 10 minutes. Although their percentage dropped during the second quarter Japan went into the locker room leading (47-20) with Yuko Oga on fire with 18 points and 5 assists.

With Yeon Ha Beon and Jung-Ja Sin struggling offensively for Korea, Japan were not really handicapped by the foul problems for Yuka Mamiya.

Instead the Japanese bench took over from the starters during the second half and protected the advantage all the way to the end of the match.

During the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the semi-final Japan had been eliminated by Cuba and since have also been on a seven-game losing streak against Korea.

Japan will face Canada in the last match of this competition for the last place in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Japan: Kumiko Oba 2, Maki Takada 11, Yuka Mamiya 6, Ryoko Yano 0, Ryoko Yano 0, Rika Tanaka 8, Emi Kudeken 2, Arisa Fujiwara 3, Chie Kibayashi 2, Asami Yoshida 10 (6 assists), Yuko Oga 20 (6 assists), Megumi Shinohara 6, Kumiko Yamada 0

Korea: Bo Mi Kim 3, Ji Yoon Kim 0, Yoon-Ah Choi 5, Chaejin Han 3, Younhoa Lee 3, Sun-Hwa Jung 4, Yeon Ha Beon 6, Young Suk Kang 2, Eun-Joo Ha DNP, Jung Eun Kim 2, Hyeyoon Bae 8, Jung-Ja Sin 17

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2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women: Team Canada before game ©  womensbasketball-in-france.com

Canada had a better game plan

The two teams appeared not to take any risks during the first quarter and instead played defensively. Canada are physically bigger and stronger than Argentina and led early (6-2).

However Argentina are solid free-throw leaders and managed to draw a few fouls to gain free trips to the charity stripes. They eventually went in front (12-10) shortly after seven minutes.

Canada continued to attack the paint and eventually edged the first quarter (16-15).

The second quarter was slow as Canada dominated the battle of the boards and conceded just 4 points as they shut out Argentina.

Canada were not much better offensively but went into the locker room with an increased advantage (26-19) after Courtnay Pilypaitis hit an end-of-quarter buzzer beater.

The game did not get any better during the third quarter as Canada controlled the tempo and extended their lead going into the final quarter (36-25).

Unfortunately Argentina could do nothing against the rebounding strength of the Canadians and the contest just fizzled out with Canada strolling to victory (58-41).

Argentina: Debora Gonzalez 2, Ornella Santana DNP, Paula Reggiardo 5, Diana Cabrera 0, Andrea Boquete 11, Marina Cava 7, Agostina Burani 2, Melisa Gretter 6, Sandra Pavon 3, Melani Soriani 0, Carolina Sanchez 8, Melisa Pavicich 0

Canada: Krista Phillips 4, Teresa Gabriele 0, Shona Thorburn 1, Courtnay Pilypaitis 12, Kimberley Smith 4, Miranda Joy Ayim 4, Alisha Tatham 6, Natalie Achonwa 0, Lizanne Murphy 11, Tamara Tatham 7, Chelsea Aubry 3, Michelle Plouffe 0

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Date created: 30 June 2012

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1 July 2012 Canada beat Japan to qualify for Olympic Games

30 June 2012 Argentina and Korea fall in semi-final

29 June 2012 France and Turkey: qualified for London 2012

29 June 2012 Czech Republic and Croatia are going to London 2012

29 June 2012 French players looking up to the sky before quarter-final

27 June 2012 The Olympic dream ends for Mali and Puerto Rico

26 June 2012 Mozambique and New Zealand eliminated on day 2

25 June 2012 No upsets on day 1

29 October 2011 France withdraws from bid to host OQT

12 October 2011 The road to London 2012 - Qualification jigsaw puzzle

2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQT) - Madrid