FIBA Asia Cup 2022: Terrific Japanese awakening win –  against Lebanon, Korea next on hit list

Aug 29, 2022

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TEHRAN, Iran – At the Azadi Basketball Hall on Friday night, Japan prevented any upset from happening by defeating Lebanon 80–67 to go to the FIBA U18 Asian Championship 2022 Final. 

Hiyuu Ozawa scored the game’s first 21 points, and Yuto Kawashima nearly recorded a double-double with 19 points and 9 rebounds. This victory set up a matchup with Korea in an East Asian rivalry game for the championship.

The Japanese dribblers will be making their first appearance in the Asian U18 final since 2016, when they lost to Iran’s host team and returned home with a silver medal. 

The Akatsuki Japan had to fend off their opponents in the fourth, so the victory wasn’t as straightforward as it had been in their Group Phase match earlier this week. 

Early on, they had a 16-point lead, but the Cedars fought back and closed the gap to just one field goal, 65-64, after Bryan Mansour’s jumper with 5:17 left. 

Fortunately for Japan, Hayato Wakugawa made both of his free throw attempts to halt the assault and give his team a four-point lead.

He later received assistance from Ozawa and Kawashima, who made the most of their opportunities at the foul line as Japan gradually put the game out of reach and ultimately prevented Lebanon from pulling off an upset.

Wakugawa only scored 8 points in the end, but he also grabbed 13 rebounds, had 6 assists, had 2 steals, and blocked a shot. 

It will be the first time ever that Japan and Korea compete against one another for Asian U18 supremacy in the much awaited Final on Sunday. 

Karl Kozah’s 17 points, on the other hand, gave Lebanon the advantage. Karim Tai and Bryan Mansour, his typical contributors, were only able to contribute 8 and 5 points, respectively. Abdul Rahman Sabbagh was his lone supporter with 11 points in the defeat. 

In the meantime, after clearing their separate tests in the Classification Round, the Philippines and Iran scheduled a matchup in the fifth-place game.

Gilas Youth won the first spot after defeating Chinese Taipei by a score of 72-67, but not before holding off their opponents’ valiant final fight. 

The Filipino cagers had a lead of up to 20 points, but their seven turnovers in the final five minutes allowed the opposition to go as close as five points. However, they were fortunate since Chinese Taipei ran out of time. 

The Philippines were led by Mason Amos, who had 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. With 14 points each, EJ Abadam and Jared Bahay provided support for him.

Chinese Taipei attempted to revenge on the squad who defeated them in the Group Phase, but they were unable, losing 84-73 despite being led by Wei Chieh Yeh’s 17 points. Since they started the match with back-to-back victories, they have now dropped three straight games. 

Iran then concluded the race for fifth by crushing Qatar by 37 points in the second game of the four-game schedule.

Chinese Taipei struggled to get back at the side who defeated them in the Group Phase, losing 84-73, despite being led by Wei Chieh Yeh’s 17 points. Since beginning the match with back-to-back victories, they have now suffered three consecutive losses. 

After Iran defeated Qatar by 37 points in the second game of the four-game schedule, the fight for fifth place was then decided.

Scores at the end of the match

Japan with 80

Lebanon with 67

Scores per quarter

14-21, 13-16, 23-25, 17-18 in favor of the Japanese

Game win goes to Japan.

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