Article

European trio progress, Japan stun Australia

June 30 2018 5:02 AM

Japan pulled off the biggest shock in their history with a 79-78 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying defeat of Australia, while the Czech Republic, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina reached the second round as Belgium crashed out on Friday.

Australia had won all four Group B Asian qualifying matches and were expected to have far too much for Japan, but the bottom side pulled off a huge shock in Chiba.

Nick Fazekas scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Rui Hachimura helped himself to a 24-point haul as the underdogs claimed their first qualifying win to stay in the hunt for a second-round spot.

Bosnia-Herzegovina were thrashed 102-52 by Group E leaders France, but later celebrated reaching round two when Russia defeated Belgium.

Belgium slumped to a fifth loss out of five, going down 84-66 as Timofey Mozgov led the way with 14 points and six rebounds for a second-placed Russia side that are guaranteed to advance.

Group F leaders the Czech Republic are through following a 77-73 victory over Finland in Pardubice, Vojtech Hruban starring with 30 points, and Great Britain stayed alive in Group H with a 74-65 triumph over Estonia.

Nigeria stayed perfect with a 109-66 rout of Uganda, while Cameroon, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Morocco also secured African qualifying victories.

There were also Asian qualifying victories for Chinese Taipei, Iran and Iraq.

In the Americas, Venezuela and Canada claimed wins over Brazil and the Dominican Republic respectively, while Colombia stayed alive with a 71-67 victory against Chile.

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