Basketball: Japan ends World Cup qualifiers with win over Bahrain
Japan cruised past Bahrain 95-72 on Sunday in its final match of Asian qualifying for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Joshua Hawkinson led with 22 points while Yutaro Suda added 20 for Japan, which will co-host the World Cup with the Philippines and Indonesia from Aug. 25.
Japan led from wire to wire at Gunma Prefecture’s Takasaki Arena, outscoring Bahrain every quarter except the third, in which both teams had 22 points.
Japan’s Yuki Kawamura (33) goes to the basket against Bahrain during an Asian qualification game for the FIBA Basketball World Cup at Takasaki Arena in Takasaki, Japan, on Feb. 26, 2023. (Kyodo)
Guard Mustafa Rashed top scored with 15 points for Bahrain, which had already been eliminated from the second round of Asian qualifying, which wraps up Monday.
Guaranteed qualification for the 32-team World Cup as a host, head coach Tom Hovasse’s Japan side finished third in Group F with a 7-5 record.
Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Australia topped the group, booking its place at the World Cup, along with second-place China, Japan and fourth-place Iran. Lebanon, New Zealand, the Philippines and Jordan advanced from Asian qualifying Group E.
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