Day 2 saw Japan and Spain put markers down for their Championship ambitions, whilst Thailand secured a historic win in their first-ever appearance at a U23 World Championship.

Turkey 54 – 69 Japan

A fast-paced duel between Turkey and Japan kick-started day 2 of the 2021 IWBF Men’s U23 World Championship in Phuket, Thailand.

In a high-scoring opening quarter Turkey edged ahead 22-17, but it was in the second quarter that the Japanese found their rhythm to take a three-point lead into the half-time break, 37-34.

The speed of Japan made it difficult for Turkey, causing them to get into foul trouble and allowing Japan to take control of the game as the baskets failed to drop for Turkey. Japan went on an 11-point run to give themselves a 13-point margin going into the fourth, which they maintained to secure victory.

Renshi Chokai was influential for Japan with a triple-double of 19 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists, but it was Yoshinobu Takamatsu who led all scorers with 26 points, followed by Turkey’s Mahmut Acikgoz with 24 points.

South Africa 41 – 46 Thailand

Before the hosts’ Thailand’s first game, the 2021 IWBF Men’s U23 World Championship was officially opened by Associate Professor Phan Thongchumnun, Vice President of the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus. When the game started, both Thailand and South Africa came out tentatively producing a tight but low-scoring even first quarter, 6-6.

They settled down in the second quarter as Thailand won it 19-15, giving them a 25-21 lead going into the break. Thailand went on an 8-0 run at the start of the third to extend their lead, but South Africa then went on a 7-0 run of their own to bring themselves back in to the game, trailing 32-39 going into the final quarter. South Africa won the final quarter, 9-7, but it wasn’t enough.

Thailand’s Amorntep Kongphakhow (19 points & 11 rebounds) and Natthakan Chaotarakan (16 points & 12 points) both secured a double-double.

South Africa Xola Yalezo hit 18 points & grabbed 11 rebounds with Ayabonga Jim also securing a double-double of 17 points & 11 rebounds.

Spain 64 – 30 France

European Champions Spain produced a statement win over their Zone counterparts France in their first game of the U23 World Championship.

A dominant first quarter of 18-4 set up the game for Spain as they went on to win each quarter (19-10, 17-8, and 10-8), allowing them to rotate all their bench and give all players game time securing a comfortable victory.

Ignacio Ortega (32 points) and Manuel Lorenzo (20 points) scored 52 points of Spain’s 64 points, whilst coming off the bench Abdel Hermosila top scored for the French with 10 points.

Follow all the action from the 2021 IWBF Men’s U23 World Championship 

Photo Credit: Shingo ITO – X-1