HomeBasketballBasketball: Baba, Suda lead Japan to narrow win over Iran

Basketball: Baba, Suda lead Japan to narrow win over Iran

Japan guard Yudai Baba drives to the basket in the second quarter of an international friendly against Iran at Xebio Arena Sendai, on Aug. 13, 2022. Japan won 82-77. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Yutaro Suda scored 20 points and Yudai Baba added 19 for Japan in an 82-77 victory over Iran in the first of two international friendlies at Xebio Arena Sendai on Saturday.

Playing without NBA forwards Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe, Tom Hovasse’s new-look Japan side avenged an 88-76 loss to Iran in the group stage of the FIBA Asia Cup in Indonesia last month.

The Akatsuki Five led at every break but had to withstand a torrid second half against an Iranian outfit that turned up the intensity after trailing 33-24 at halftime.

“We have a lot of new members and it still isn’t perfect, but everyone is trying hard,” said Hovasse, whose team exited…


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