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BASKETBALL | Japan Splits a Pair of Weekend Home Games in FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

The Akatsuki Five edged Taiwan before falling to Australia in Okinawa.

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Japan guard Yudai Nishida drives to the basket against Taiwan in a 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier at Okinawa Arena on February 26. (FIBA.BASKETBALL)

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The Japan men’s national basketball team, continuing its development under new head coach Tom Hovasse, enjoyed a narrow victory and experienced a blowout loss over the weekend.

Japan eked out a 76-71 victory over Taiwan in Okinawa on Saturday, February 26.

In the weekend-opening win, starting shooting guard Yudai Nishida paced Japan with 27 points on 9-for-13 shooting. He added three rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a stellar all-around effort.

Nishida had 14 points in the pivotal fourth quarter, when Japan outscored Taiwan 27-18.

The Akatsuki Five then dropped their second weekend game on Sunday, February 27, falling to world No. 3 Australia 80-64 in a 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Group B qualifier at Okinawa Arena. Yuki Togashi led Japan with 19 points.

Read the full article here.

Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward’s [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward’s dedicated sports website, SportsLook.

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