In Pool A, a packed Carioca Arena played host to a fantastic Pool A game between Japan and Spain.

With shots refusing to fall for both teams at the start of the game, it was Spain who were first on the scoreboard in an end to end first quarter that ended 11-8 to Japan. Spain immediately hit back to level the game on 11 points apiece at the start of the second quarter before pushing forwards by 20-15; Japan hit back to within one point, but it was Spain who closed out the half 26-23.

The battle continued into the third quarter; Spain utilising the full court as they then pulled ahead by 42-27. Japan continued to pressure their opponents at both ends of the court in the final 10 minutes, but Spain found another level of play to secure a 55-39 win.

Hiroaki Kozai, Japan’s top scorer with 11 points, said: “We just need to deal with it now – more games are coming so we’ve just got to move onto the next one.”

David Mouriz, Spain’s top scorer with 20 points, said: “We had a little bit of a problem getting into the game, but it was a really important game for us and in the end we got it done.”

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