Tall Blacks join Semi-Finals field with Jordan, Lebanon with aim to dethrone Australia

JAKARTA (Indonesia) – The reigning FIBA Asia Cup champions are still in the running to defend their throne after Australia defeated Japan in the Quarter-Finals.

Japan put up a fight, even without an injured Yuta Watanabe, but the Boomers still came away with a 99-85 win to reach Semi-Finals. They will be fighting for a spot in the Final against New Zealand who also claimed a win today against Korea, 88-78.

Australia and New Zealand will be facing each other for a second straight Semi-Finals after playing against each other in 2017 as well.

The other side of the bracket will see friendly rivals Jordan and Lebanon go up against each other for a first Final appearance in over a decade for both teams.

Jordan were the first team to make it to the Semi-Finals with a massive win over Iran, 91-76. It was their first win over Iran since 2011 which was also in the Quarter-Finals and ended up with a Final appearance for the Falcons.

Lebanon also had a historic win of their own, beating China for the first time in 12 encounters in the Asia Cup, 72-69. This will be Lebanon’s first time playing in the Semi-Finals since 2009. 

From the four teams remaining in contention, only Australia have previously won the FIBA Asia Cup. The Boomers are the defending champions having won the tournament in 2017 in their debut appearance.

Both Semi-Finals will take place on Saturday, July 23 in Jakarta with the champions being crowned in the Istora Senayan on Sunday, July 24.