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    Japan piles pressure on Team Pilipinas with easy win over Kazakhstan

    Dec 3, 2018
    PHOTO: fiba.com

    NICK Fazekas scored 41 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as Japan edged Kazakhstan, 86-70, on Monday at the Toyoma City Gymnasium.

    Japan's naturalized player got ample support, with Makoto Hiejima adding 14 points and Yudai Baba contributing 11 points as Japan improved to 6-4 (win-loss).

    Japan’s victory, fashioned out without US NCAA Rui Hachimura, made Team Pilipinas' match against Iran at the Mall of Asia Arena a must-win if the home team wants to stay in the frame for a World Cup berth in Group F.

    A Philippine win will put it in a three-way tie for second place with Japan and Iran in the competitive group.

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    The top three teams in Groups E and F and the best fourth placer will qualify to the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup.

    Kazakhstan slipped to 4-6, as it failed to follow up on its 92-88 win over Gilas on Friday on the road.

    Alexandr Zhigulin had 23 points but only shot 5-of-13 from the field against Japan.

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    PHOTO: fiba.com
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