Japan’s FIBA Asia Cup campaign was emphatically halted on Monday when South Korea used a 17-1 fourth quarter run to grab an 81-68 victory in the teams’ quarterfinal qualifier in Beirut.
South Korea blew the game open to start the fourth quarter, turning a one-point lead into a 16-point advantage by forcing Japan into a string of turnovers and scoreless offensive possessions.
For Japan, Ira Brown had a team-high 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range. The Gonzaga University alum had five rebounds, five steals and three blocks. Teamates Daiki Tanaka and Makoto Hiejima scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Oh Se-keun and Kim Sun-hyung were South Korea’s leading scorers, finishing with 16 points apiece.
Japan ends the tournament with a 2-2 record under new head coach Julio Lamas.
Japan’s next major hurdle will come in November when the first round of Asian qualifying for the FIBA World Cup begins.