WUHAN, China, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan outscored Syria 77-55 to harvest the third consecutive victory and the top place of group C at the 2011 FIBA men's basketball Asian Championship here on Saturday.
Syria focused on three-point shooting. The Syrian team attempted 26 three-pointers, 11 more than Japan, but only converted six of them. The Japanese team made 16 assists, 12 more than Styria's six.
Japanese center Takeuchi Kosuke dominated the rim both offensively and defensively by scoring a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kosuke Takeuchi's twin brother Takeuchi Joji collected 12 points, and shooter Kawamura Takuya made 17 points.
"We did a good job in the first half," said Syrian head coach Goran Milijevic, "but we met difficulties in attacking in the second half."
Syrian guard Loannis Deeb took a team-high 15 points.
Syria started the game with a 15-12 lead, while Japan fought back with a 15-0 spurt to change the score to 29-15.
Kawamura Takuya stood out in the second half, burying 14 points in the third quarter to widen the gap to 15 points. Syria failed to trim the gap in the fourth quarter and lost the game.
Syria sidelined center Abdulwahab Al Hamowi, who enjoyed 32-minute on court the day before, in most part of the game, and allowed center Takeuchi Kosuke to get 12 points in the first half.
The Japanese team had twice won the Asian championships since the event was founded, but finished at the 10th place two years ago in Tianjin, China.
In a Group D game, Bahrain ended the Wuhan trip with a 71-113 defeat to the Philippines and a 0-3 record.
The Philippines recovered from a loss to host team China the day before. Seven Philipino players harvested double figures, Japeth Aguilar wrapped game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds.