Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, former Zag Ira Brown spark Japan’s World Cup qualifier victory
Gonzaga junior forward Rui Hachimura and former Bulldogs’ wing Ira Brown helped Japan cruise to an 85-70 victory over Kazakhstan in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Hachimura scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Brown added 9 points and 8 boards in Japan’s win Thursday at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Kazakhstan.
Japan took control early, building a 49-34 halftime lead and stretching it to 20 at the end of three quarters.
Hachimura missed both of his 3-point attempts but made 8 of 12 2-pointers and 8 of 9 at the free-throw line. He added three steals and one block in a team-high 34 minutes.
Brown hit 2 of 3 3-pointers and 3 of 5 field-goal attempts overall. He had two steals and his 18 minutes led all bench players. Brown, who went through a two-year process to obtain Japanese citizenship, has played professionally in Japan since 2011
Japan, which faces Iran on Monday, has won three straight World Cup games.