22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
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LISTED: Outstanding numbers from Japan's remarkable win over Iran

TAKASAKI (Japan) - The potential for Japan as an explosive scoring and three-point shooting team under Tom Hovasse has always been there.

Asia basketball fans had already witnessed such a performance at the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 where they unleashed twenty-seven three-pointers on Syria on a 51.9 percent conversation rate for a total of 117 points. The fans knew it was possible.

Still, few probably expected that they would witness something like that in Window 6 of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers, especially against an Iran team that needed a win to get closer to a World Cup qualification spot.

However, that’s exactly what happened as the spectators at Takasaki Arena and those who were streaming the game saw Akatsuki Japan take down Iran in what might have been the best game in the Tom Hovasse era.

Here we take a look at some of the amazing numbers from the victory.

Tied for most three-pointers made in a game in World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers


After knocking down 10 threes in the first half, it was pretty much expected that Japan would come close to the record set by Kazakhstan (vs Bahrain, 27 February 2022) and Australia (vs Japan, 1 July 2022). The record was then tied one day later when the Philippines also made 17 three-pointers against Lebanon on 25 February.

Most three-pointers made in a game by Japan in a World Cup Qualifiers game


Japan had actually just broken this personal team record last window then they made 15 three-pointers vs Bahrain on 11 November, which was the most since Japan made 14 three-pointers against Qatar back on 24 February 2019. Keep an eye on this with Japan closing out Window 6 against Bahrain in a home game on 26 February.

Most points scored in a game by Japan in World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers


Unfortunately, Japan didn’t hit the century mark on the scoreboard, but 96 points is still a lot. It’s not the most Japan have ever scored in a World Cup Qualifier game as they surpassed the 100-point threshold a few times in the 2019 cycle, but it is the most they’ve scored in the Qualifiers leading up to World Cup 2023.

Biggest win over Iran in World Cup Qualifiers by any team


Iran have long been one of the best teams in Asia and are not an easy team to beat. Among their 9 losses across two World Cup Qualifiers cycle, none have come at a larger margin than Japan’s recent win here. Not bad.

Tied for most three-pointers made in a World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers game
(Ren Kanechika)


It was Ren Kanechika’s first game ever playing at the senior national team level and what a debut it was for the teenager. He was already heating up in the first quarter and when all was said and done, he finished with 6 three-pointers to his name, tied for most by a single player in a single game with 6 other players - Nikolay Bazhin, Rustam Murzagaliev, Musatafa Rashed, Dar Tucker, Dejan Vasiljevic, and Zhao Rui. Among all of those players, Ren is the youngest.

Players who have scored at least 20 points for Japan in a World Cup Qualifiers game

(Ren Kanechika)


Ren is also one of 8 players who have scored at least 20 points in a game for Japan across both World Cup Qualifiers cycles, joined by a high-quality group of players. The list includes Rui Hachimura, Nik Fazekas, Makota Hiejima, Naoto Tsuji, Yudai Nishida, and Yudai Baba. All class.

Again, Ren is the youngest among all of these scorers.