The Australian Boomers held off Japan in the quarter-final, winning 99-85, continuing their strong wins in the FIBA Asia Cup with their physicality in the paint and inside the three-point line scoring.
The Boomers started defensively strong, holding Japan to three points for half of the first quarter before it started to close the deficit. In a game that the Boomers were expected to perform strongly, they let Japan get hot in stretches, especially from the three-point line.
Sam Froling had nine points in the first quarter, dominating in the paint and inside the three-point line, while Thon Maker would make an impact with his size and length.
Australia’s lead would reach as high as 21 points, but Japan kept pegging it back. Thon Maker was the leading scorer for the Boomers, showing his ability to get to the rim and play in the post, taking advantage of his undersized opposition.
Japan would however try to close the deficit with lots of deep threes and isolation plays, confusing the Boomers’ defence at times and shifting their coverage on the defensive end.
Keisei Tominaga would have 17 points in the first half, finishing with 33. He didn’t have much help, however, as only two of his teammates scored 10 or more.
The Boomers also successfully led this game comfortably with their ability to find their open guys and get into the paint easily, dominating on both sides of the ball. The Boomers had five blocks also, while Japan failed to block a shot.
The scoring boost of Tominaga and Togashi allowed Japan to keep itself in the game. Japan strived in making the Boomers switch and miscommunicate on the defensive end.
The Five Reds were shifty with the ball, finding each other in open spaces around the three-point line. They made impressive shots and quick drives in the paint, especially when they had Thon Maker on the perimeter.
Australia continued to prove why it is one of the world’s best basketball nations, and its consistent dominance in the game kept Japan chasing points.
The Boomers would finish with a 14-point win in what was a comfortable game for the majority of playing time.
The Boomers will either play Korea or New Zealand in the semi-finals of the FIBA Asia Cup.
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