Goannas overpower Japan to set up classification match with Chinese Taipei

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The Australian Goannas have powered past Japan in a 93-67 victory at the World Deaf Basketball Championships, setting up a playoff for ninth position against Chinese Taipei tonight.

Utilising a significant height advantage, Australia jumped out of the blocks with Lachlan Jackson owning the boards. After nailing a three-pointer, Mark Bilyj was fouled on consecutive made baskets, hitting the free throws as well to convert nine points in just a few minutes. His spree helped the Goannas to an 11-point margin by quarter-time.

Australia then firmly planted their foot on the accelerator, racing to a 28-point lead at the main break on the back of a 28-5 second term. Alongside Bilyj and Jackson, Patrick Lane and Halil Durnaoglu also asserted their influence on the contest.

Out of half-time, Japan were able to respond with three straight three-pointers. Jordan Woolmer stemmed the flow though, rattling off eight points in the quarter including an impressive tip-in before the Goannas regained their speed and domination on the rebounds to start the fourth period on a 9-0 run.

Ben Morrison, Harry Maggs and even the injured Shane Crick received court-time in the final quarter while Durnaoglu showcased his lockdown defence with three steals as the Goannas strolled to victory.

In another superb performance, Jackson finished with 31 points and 18 rebounds while Bilyj completed the front court pairing with 25 and 10. Williams (12 points), Durnaoglu (11 on perfect 4-4 field goal shooting) and Woolmer (10) also reached double-figures in scoring.

For their final match of the tournament, Australia will face Chinese Taipei with the winner finishing ninth for the tournament. The match will be played at 1900 AEST Friday night.