Japan’s national basketball team has secured its first-ever win at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in almost two decades.
What happened: The East Asian team won 98-88 against Finland in Okinawa, Japan, on Sunday.
Making a comeback: Japan managed to pull through with a comeback after being behind its Finnish opponents by 18 points in the third quarter.
Head coach Tom Hovasse told Kyodo News that the “crazy game” looked “kind of bleak for a minute” before Japanese guards Yuki Kawamura and Keisei Tominaga gave their team a “really big boost on the offensive end.” Tominaga, who studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been regarded as the “Japanese Steph Curry.”
Hovasse also said during a post-game news conference that the historic moment on Sunday was a “big win” for them as they are trying to “create a new standard here for Japan,” noting that the victory was “definitely a big step in the right direction.”
Emotions running high: Videos shared on X show fans bursting with emotion following the historic win. Some were filmed cheering for the national team, while others can be seen shedding tears.
Japan will face Australia in its final group game on Tuesday. The winner of this game will likely move on to the second round
of the international competition.