The first game of Finals Day saw an all Asia Oceania clash between Australia and Japan. Both teams know each other well from the qualification tournament, but it was Japan coming in with the better win-loss ratio record from this tournament.

Japan used this confidence and their defensive pressure to cause the Australians problems in the first half, allowing them to push out to a 40 -26 lead at the half-time break.

However, Australia were not going to give up easily and as seen in their last three games, the comeback kings came out firing in the third quarter winning it 25 -11 and making it all to play for in the fourth at 51-51.

The beginning of the fourth quarter saw Australia continue to drive forward with an 8-0 run before Japan started to score, bringing it back to within three points with one minute to play. As Japan looked to foul to send Australia to the free-throw line, it was captain Tom O’Neill-Thorne who finished from the line to ensure the win, 71 -66 giving Australia bronze for the fourth time in the history of this Championships. Japan finished fourth and improved on their ninth-place finish from 2013 in Adana.

Australia’s Head Coach, Luke Brennan discussed his team’s performance, “We’ve always found ourselves down at half time during these games. I’m so proud of the boys, the way they continued to fight. The great thing about our group and the great thing about Australians is they’re always the underdogs they just never ever give up and the boys kept fighting and we managed to out-push them down the stretch. We didn’t have any expectations coming in, we just wanted to go out and continually get better and see what we end up doing and we’ve achieved exactly what we came here to do.”