Opals fall to Japan in Asia Cup final

FIBA Asia Women's Cup tournament MVP Kelsey Griffin of the Opals. Darrell Walker/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images

The Australian Opals have missed out on winning the FIBA Asia Women's Cup at their first attempt, falling agonisingly one point short of opponent Japan in the final.

Led by the long-range shooting of Saki Mizushima, who drained seven of nine shots for 26 points, Japan used their speed and agility to advantage against the Opals, running out 74-73 victors.

Kelsey Griffin, who was brilliant during the final, also picked up tournament MVP after averaging 17.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.3 steals and a block per game.

The Opals successfully debuted three players during the tournament in Griffen, Alanna Smith and Lauren Mansfield as part of their preparations for next year's FIBA World Cup, where they will be among the serious contenders.