Five-time defending champion Japan advanced to the final of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup with an overwhelming 88-52 win against New Zealand on Saturday.

Forward Stephanie Mawuli had 17 points and six rebounds, while Monica Okoye added 16 points off the bench for Japan, which will face China in Sunday's final.

Stephanie Mawuli (2nd from L) runs between New Zealand players during their women's basketball Asia Cup semifinal game in Sydney on July 1, 2023. (AP/Kyodo)

Head coach Toru Onzuka's world No. 9 outfit took control of the semifinal at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre with a 24-11 first quarter and was never troubled by its 29th-ranked opponent.

Japan relied on stifling defense to trigger its trademark fast transition game, forcing 24 turnovers from New Zealand while committing just five.

"Having everyone locked in from the very start was important," Mawuli said. "We'll focus on our own game and do our best to win the final."

The Tokyo Olympic silver medalist reached the semis with a perfect 3-0 record from group play, ensuring its place at next February's Olympic qualifiers.

In Saturday's other semifinal, China also remained unbeaten at the tournament with a 74-60 victory against host Australia.