Basketball: Japan down Iran 96-61 to open World Cup year
Japan opened the men’s basketball World Cup year with a win Thursday, easing past Iran 96-61 in Group F in the second round of Asian qualifying.
Japan, already qualified as a tournament co-host alongside the Philippines and Indonesia, got a game-high 20 points from debutant Ren Kanechika in a promising win at Gunma Prefecture’s Takasaki Arena.
Yuki Kawamura twice scored from beyond the arc to give Japan a 22-16 lead after the first quarter, and Kanechika, who made six of his 10 three-point attempts, helped stretch his team’s lead to 52-29 by halftime.
Joshua Hawkinson scored 17 while Kai Toews...