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    Fiba Asia debutants Australia, New Zealand assert supremacy, seal semis face-off

    Aug 18, 2017
    Australia's Nicholas Kay throws down a dunk against China. Photo from Fiba.com

    AN Australian team with not a single NBA player in its lineup proved too strong for defending champion China on Friday morning (Manila time) to seal a semifinal showdown with fellow Fiba Asia Cup debutant in Beirut, Lebanon.

    Jason Cadee scored 20 points while Mitchell McCarron added 17 points for the Boomers, who went on a tear late in the third quarter to take the fight out of the former champions and roll to their fourth successive blowout victory.

    The Aussies, ranked 10th in the world, now cross paths with a familiar foe in the Tall Blacks, who used to challenge the Boomers' supremacy in the Fiba Oceania zone before it was merged with the Asia under Fiba's new qualifying format.

    Shaking off a stunning 75-76 loss to Korea at the end of its cmapaign in the group stage, the Tall Blacks, led by the 19 points and 13 assists of Shea Ili, dominated Jordan, 98-70, to take their place in the Final Four alongside Australia, Korea and Iran.

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    After a break on Friday, the semifinals will be played on Saturday with Korea seeking to follow up its lopsided 118-86 win over Gilas with a victory over Hamed Haddadi and Iran.

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    Also to be played on Saturday are the classification matches for the fifth to eighth places, with Gilas taking on host Lebanon and China facing Jordan.

    Gilas, which beat China in its tournament debut, may end up facing the 2015 champions for a second time if both hurdle their assignments on Saturday.

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    Australia's Nicholas Kay throws down a dunk against China. Photo from Fiba.com
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