A clinical Australia overcame the home nation Japan to advance to the second round of the FIBA World Cup in Okinawa on Tuesday night.
The Boomers produced their highest ever score at a World Cup as they prevailed 109-89 to finish their Group E pool games with a 2-1 record.
Australia now waits to confirm its opponent with second-round games beginning on Friday.
Packing a punch off the bench, Xavier Cooks (24 points, 16 rebounds including 10 offensive) produced a career-best performance at international level and became the first Australian player to register a double-double at the tournament.
In its third and final group game, Australia needed a strong start and produced one, scoring the first four points building to an early double-digit advantage.
Josh Green moved into the starting five and it paid early dividends with 10 first-half points, a handful of deflections and an injection of energy.
A 32-18 run in the second quarter powered the Boomers to their highest first half (57) of the tournament and a 22-point buffer at the major break.
A powerful presence inside and the ascendancy in both the rebound and assist counts had the Boomers on top in front of a vocal Japanese home crowd.
The teams traded triples through an entertaining stretch in the third term, with Japan piling on 33 points for the quarter, two less than they tallied in the first half.
Japan reduced a 27-point margin to 17, and persisted late, but was unable to get the deficit under double figures.
Josh Giddey continued his top form at his first senior World Cup with 26 points and 11 assists to produce a double-double of his own, Green (15 points) added a spark while Nick Kay (13 points) capitalised on Japan’s lack of size.
Giddey says the Boomers have remained confident.
"The team is in great spirits obviously, not the way we wanted to go with 2 and 1 in the group stage but I think the way we bounced back today gave us momentum to move into the next stage," he said.
Head coach Brian Goorjian said the team's first half against Japan is the blueprint for success.
"It's interesting you get in a game like that - and I've talked alot about the change from the experience that we had at the last Olympics - and we're going through evolution," said Goorjian.
"Some guys get moved in, and three big pieces tonight were Josh Giddey, Josh Green and Xavier Cooks.
Those three guys make this really exciting, not only for tonight, but for the future."
Australia 109 (Giddey 26pts, Cooks 24pts)
Japan 89 (Hawkinson 33pts, Watanabe 24pts)
View the post-game press conference with Brian Goorjian and
See the AUS v JPN box score, photos and more on the FIBA website.
HOW TO WATCH
Every Boomers game, every Team USA game and all quarter finals, semi-finals, third place game and the FIBA World Cup Final will be made available LIVE and FREE on ESPN via Kayo Freebies - which does not require a subscription.
Fans in Australia can access Kayo Freebies and support the Boomers by watching ESPN’s coverage of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
|UPCOMING WORLD CUP FIXTURES|
|Second Round and Classification– Okinawa, Japan|
|August 31 - September 3||TBD|
|Final Phase – Manila, Philippines|
|September 5 & 6||Quarter-finals||TBD|
General FIBA World Cup tournament information can be found in the FIBA International media guide.
Post-game press conferences are streamed live to the FIBA YouTube channel.