HARBIN, China (Kyodo) Michael Takahashi had a team-high 24 points as Japan ran wild to crush
India 103-74 at the Asian Men’s Basketball Championships on Saturday.

With one win against one defeat
among eight teams in the first league matches, Japan has increased its hopes of a semifinal berth and
will take on tournament favorite China on Sunday.

Despite missing center Fumihiko Aono due to injury,
Japan set a blistering pace, taking a 26-14 lead in the first quarter on sharpshooting by Takahashi and
Takuma Watanabe.

Naoto Nakamura later sank six three-pointers en route to the victory. The winner of the
Sept. 23-Oct. 3 Asian championship automatically qualifies for next year’s Athens Olympics.

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