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China, Spain, USA, Nigeria win in first matchday of women’s basketball Olympic qualification


China and Spain won in the first matchday of Group B of the FIBA Women’s Olympic qualifying basketball tournament on Thursday in Belgrade, while Nigeria and the United States earned first wins in Group A.

In Group B, Eurobasket powerhouse Spain crushed South Korea 83-46 (19-16, 24-9, 20-7, 20-14).

Leonor Rodriguez scored 14 points for Spain, followed by Laia Palau with 10 points, and Laura Gil, Alba Torrens and Marta Xargay with 9 points each. South Korean Hyejin Park scored 17 points, and Ji Su Park added 10 points.

In the opening match of the tournament and Group B, Asian Cup runner-up China defeated Britain 86-76.

In Group A, Nigeria hammered Mozambique 85-51, despite a weak start. (18-19, 23-9, 25-13, 19-10)

Promise Amukamara scored 14 points and Ezinne Kalu added 11 for Nigeria, while Leia Dongue scored 16 points for Mozambique.

The United States, the 2016 Olympic winners, breezed past European bronze medalists Serbia 88-69 (20-14, 22-20, 28-13, 18-22).

A’Ja Wilson struck 16 points for the winning team, followed by Skylar Diggins with 15 points. In Serbia’s ranks, Jelena Brooks and Ana Dabovic scored 13 points each.

On Saturday, China meet Spain, Britain face South Korea in Group B, while in Group A Serbia take on Nigeria, and United States play against Mozambique.

For the Tokyo Olympic Games, 16 women’s teams have been divided into four groups with the top three of each group qualifying. Enditem

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