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Friday, Sep. 16, 2011

Japan men win FIBA Asia opener

Staff report

Joji Takeuchi scored 11 points and Takuya Kawamura and Kosuke Takeuchi had 10 points apiece in Japan's 81-59 win over Indonesia in their opening Group C game at the 26th FIBA Asia Championship on Thursday in Wuhan, China.

Japan, which had a 14-0 spurt in the early going, ended the opening half on a 15-2 run to take a 37-24 lead into the intermission.

"They (Indonesia) came with a lot of energy. I thought we had them when we had that 14-0, but then we gave them an 8-0 as well. Therefore, things evened out and we had to fight our way back," Japan coach Thomas Wisman told reporters.

Japan shot 22-for-41 from inside the 3-point arc.

Frontcourt standout Kosuke Takeuchi, a veteran of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, had a team-best 12 rebounds, while Kenta Hirose and Takeki Shonoka each scored eight points. Takumi Ishizaki and Hirose had three steals apiece. Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix center Atsuya Ota, only the second active bj-league player to suit up for the national team, added four points and two steals in 10-plus minutes.

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