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MADRID (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women) - Japan opened their FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a narrow win over Senegal and sealed a place in the quarter-finals in the process.
The Japanese won 71-69 in Madrid and will now take on Latvia to determine first place in Group A. The Latvians beat Senegal by 60 points on the opening day.
Tomohide Utsumi’s team appeared to be in control with a 59-47 advantage 10 minutes from the end.
But the Senegalese hit back and levelled the scores four times, the last at 69-69 following a pair of free throws from Fatou Dieng with 44 seconds to play.
Japan were able to work the ball inside on their next trip down the floor, with Ryoko Yano hitting a cutting Noriko Koiso for the final points of the game.
Koiso finished with a team-high 18 points.
Senegal did have a chance to tie or go in front, but Dieng’s jumper from 12 feet bounced off the rim and into the hands of Yano as Japan held on.
Dieng also had 18 points in defeat