Australia stunned by Japan in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier

Australia Basketball Team suffered its first loss in two years, falling to a hot-shooting Japan side in a FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifying game. It was a sluggish effort from Andrej Lemanis’ team, with the loss marring Maker’s long-awaited Australian national team debut. Maker, the Milwaukee Bucks centre, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the 79-78 loss, but the story of the game was Japan’s frontcourt, who were dominant on both ends of the floor. Nicholas Fazekas led the way for the home team with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while the 20-year-old Rui Hachimura a projected lottery pick in 2019 finished with 24 points and seven rebounds.



Matthew Dellavedova was also in the green and gold, dishing out eight assists, but struggled from the field, only finishing with four points in the stunning loss. “It was a tough one for us tonight,” Dellavedova said after the loss. “We didn’t play very well on either end, but you have to give Japan a lot of credit. They played really well, knocked down shots; the big fellas played well.” Chris Goulding was the lone bright spot for Australia, leading the scoring effort with 22 points. It was Japan who came out to a hot start, and led 42-33 at the half, thanks to the impressive play of their frontcourt. The Boomers trailed 77-74 with 20 seconds to play, and possession of the ball, but an ill-advised three-point attempt from Nick Kay led to a long rebound, and the game-sealing dunk from Hachimura. Kay had 12 points for Australia, but shot just 4-of-19 from the field.
“I thought we didn’t come out with the intensity and the intent required to play at this level, and, as a result, we were kind of on the back foot for a little bit in the first half,” Boomers head coach, Andrej Lemanis, said. “I thought Japan did a nice job of exposing us; they were aggressive. They moved the ball well and they scored.” Australia has already booked a spot in the next round of World Cup qualifiers, but will be extremely disappointed with their first loss since falling to Spain in the 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze Medal game. The Boomers will go up against the Philippine on Monday (AEST).
Australia stunned by Japan in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier Australia stunned by Japan in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier Reviewed by OnePiece Times on 6:04 AM Rating: 5

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