The African champions lost by an 83-102 scoreline at Saitama Super Arena. Japan put on an offensive display against Nigeria, draining 19 3-pointers, with Hayashi’s long-ball shooting being a thorn in the flesh of the D’tigress’defence in the first quarter,
The second quarter was a tightly contested affair with Victoria Macaulay and Ezinne Kalu giving the Nigerian side a glimmer of hope but Saki Hayashi and Nako Motohashi combined well for some vital points to see the quarter 21 -18 in favour of Japan.
Kalu and Ify Ibekwe were well marshaled by the defensive setup of Japan denying them some vital points as the game gradually crept away from the D’Tigress side.
The final quarter saw a resurgent Nigerian side and Evelyn Mawuli was instrumental in this showing, but Hayashi and Miyazawa led a composed side to finish the game as the two leading scorers, posting 23 and 19 points, respectively.
The Nigeria team bowed out of the tournament after making their last appearance at the 2004 Athens Olympics.