JAKARTA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Australia advanced to the final of the FIBA Asia Cup men's basketball tournament after beating New Zealand 85-76 here on Saturday.
The semifinal was tight in the first quarter, as Australia managed to take a 23-19 lead, and in the second quarter the team continued to hold off New Zealand.
The latter tried to push back hard during the third quarter, but could only tie 17-17. New Zealand then fought back harder in the final quarter with a 19-22 run, but Australia still saw out the win.
Thon Maker, who made two 3-pointers, scored 18 points for Australia with nine rebounds, and his teammate William McDowell-White added 15 points off the bench with seven assists and three rebounds.
For New Zealand, Jordan Hunt scored 16 points and grabbed four rebounds, with Sam Timmins also chipping in 16 points with eight rebounds and three assists.
In Sunday's final, Australia will take on Lebanon, who edged Jordan 86-85 in a tight affair. The Lebanese squad, led by Jad El Hajj, defeated China 72-69 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, New Zealand and Jordan will take each other on in the third place playoff. ■