TOKYO (Japan) - Women's power USA were pushed to the limit by an impressive China but prevailed in a 21-19 thriller on day three to lock in a semi-final spot at the Tokyo Olympics 3x3 competition.
The gold medal favorite won their sixth straight game to remain unbeaten but needed a brilliant solo effort from Kelsey Plum to get them past the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2019 champions
China, who started day three with a tight victory over Japan, now have a 4-2 record as they hunt for a top two finish.
Plum gets her radar right
The U.S star was ice cold from deep earlier in the day against Italy but that did not shake her confidence. She tapped into her bag early and after fancy foot work was nothing but net with a step back two.
The pleasing swish sound would have reassured Plum but China were equally hot in a see-saw start.
Yang fires away
Shuyu Yang is wildly popular in her home country and it's not hard to see why. The gunner fired away from deep and while she wasn't always accurate her confidence was certainly admirable.
Yang did nail a couple of twos and also drove to the rim aggressively to give China a 13-11 lead as they smelled an upset.
USA were pushed to the brink but their leader Plum stood up when it mattered the most.
Her mesmerizing ball handling was followed by a dazzling scoop layup but she saved the best for last with a clutch two-piece to finish with a game-high 10 points.