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Australia keeps pace with Iran atop Group F

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Australia cruise past Qatar (0:32)

The Australia Boomers thumped Qatar 95-43 in their FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier game. Australia is tied with Iran atop Group F. (0:32)

Japan and Australia opened Group F play of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers with victories, joining Iran in the win column Thursday.

Iran held on for an 81-73 win against Gilas Pilipinas in Tehran. Japan beat Kazakhstan in Almaty 85-70, while Australia trounced Qatar in Doha, 95-43.

Australia is tied with Iran atop the Group F standings at 6-1. The Philippines is next at 4-3. Japan is in fourth place at 3-4 while Kazakhstan drops to 2-5, tied with Qatar for fifth place.

Australia's Daniel Kickert, Chris Goulding or Thon Maker were out serving suspensions stemming from the July 2 brawl with the Philippines.

The Boomers did not miss the trio, racing to a 24-12 first period lead. Australia outscored Qatar 30-3 in the third quarter and led by as many as 53 points.

Australia finished with five players in double figures led by Perth Wildcats standout Jesse Wagstaff's 18 points.

The Boomers host Kazakhstan at Bendigo Stadium in Australia while Qatar travels to the Philippines to play in the closed-door game Monday.

Japan, coming off a controversial run in the Asian Games, jumped out to an early lead on the way to a comfortable win behind Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe.

Hachimura, a junior at Gonzaga University in the U.S., dominated with 24 points and Watanabe finished with 17 points.

Japan reinstated its original naturalized player Ira Brown for this contest and former NBA and PBA player Nick Fazekas is likely to be utilized against Iran on Monday in Tokyo.

Brown finished with nine points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes of action.