Boomers edge past Japan to advance to Asia Cup semi-final

Australia's Thon Maker was in hot form as the Boomers downed Japan at the FIBA Asia Cup.

Australia's Thon Maker was in hot form as the Boomers downed Japan at the FIBA Asia Cup. Photo: AP

The Boomers have held off a long-range shooting barrage from Japan to move into the Asia Cup semi-finals.

Australia created an early 15-point lead and was never truly threatened in a 99-85 win in Jakarta as its title defence continued impressively.

Keisei Tominaga (33 points) did his best to tear up the script though, dropping eight-of-15 from beyond the arc including one shot from the logo in the middle of the court late in the fourth quarter.

Boomers centre Thon Maker (21 points, 13 rebounds, five assists) continued his fine tournament, while Rhys Vague (19 points) shot five-of-six three pointers and Sam Froling (15 points, six rebounds) gave Australia a hot start.

Tominaga had another triple spin out of the hoop that would have cut Australia’s lead to just six with three minutes to play.

Maker replied with a dunk to restore order though as the Boomers’ dominance around the rim and on the boards – they won the rebound count 51-29 – eventually told.

Mitch McCarron (seven points, seven rebounds, nine assists) was also busy as coach Mike Kelly kept his offensive options open.

Australia will play the winner of New Zealand and Korea in Saturday’s semi-final, while Jordan and Lebanon will meet in the other semi-final.


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