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Japan Overwhelms Kazakhstan in Second Half of FIBA World Cup Qualifier

The hosts pulled away over the final 20 minutes in Okinawa, outscoring the Central Asian national squad by 25 points in that span.

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Japan point guard Yuki Kawamura runs the offense against Kazakhstan in a 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier on August 30 at Okinawa Arena. (FIBA.BASKETBALL)

Balanced scoring and a strong all-around effort in the second half ignited Japan to a 73-48 triumph over Kazakhstan in a 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier on Tuesday, August 30.

Japan outscored the visitors 46-21 in the second half at Okinawa Arena, bouncing back from a 79-68 loss to Iran in Tehran on August 25. In that game, dynamic guard Yudai Baba had a game-best 27 points for Japan.

In this game, the hosts missed 13 of 17 shots in the opening quarter and didn’t heat up for a sustained excellent stretch on offense until the third quarter.

In Tuesday’s second-round match against its Group F foe, Japan had seven players share the bulk of the scoring load. Shooting guard Yudai Nishida poured in a team-high 13 points, while Baba finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Soichiro Inoue contributed nine points. Naturalized Japanese citizen Nick Fazekas, a longtime B.League star for the Kawasaki Brave Thunders and a former NBA player, made his first national team appearance of 2022 a success with solid all-around numbers (eight points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block).

Read the full story, here on JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website, SportsLook.

Author: Ed Odeven

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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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