The longtime partners climbed from No. 2 to the top spot in this week's mixed doubles world rankings released by the Badminton World Federation.
The veteran forward, who made his NBA debut with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018, spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Raptors.
The 25-year-old, who’s ranked No. 1 in the world, scored seven straight points in the third game to take the momentum back from China’s Yufei Chen.
The 25-year-old native of Fukui Prefecture will face China’s Yufei Chen in the title match after a straight-sets victory in the semifinals.
The Akatsuki Five, playing without injured forward Yuta Watanabe, showcased their long-range shooting skills throughout the game.
A 14-2 run in the first quarter set the tone for Japan, which finished with five double-digit scorers.
The Akatsuki Five still have a shot at reaching the final eight, with a qualifying contest on Tuesday set to determine the team’s fate.
The Akatsuki Five made 27 3-pointers in a 61-point win over Syria, improving to 2-0 in the tournament.
The Akatsuki Five outscored their Group C opponent 55-20 in the second half, turning a close game into a rout.
The NBA veteran adds leadership and valuable experience to the Akatsuki Five for July’s 16-nation tournament, according to Japan coach Tom Hovasse.
The two-time Japan Golf Tour winner earned $270,000 at the inaugural event in London.
In the finals, it all came down to the golden set against the Wolfdogs Nagoya, and the Sunbirds dominated to secure another championship.