FIBA Asia Cup: Australia edge Lebanon to retain title

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Australia held off Lebanon's late resistance to win 75-73 and defend its FIBA Asia Cup title in a tight affair in the final on Sunday evening.

The Boomers made a powerful start and built a 22-10 lead in the first quarter thanks to four 3-pointers.

Then the Lebanese squad tried to push back hard but only managed to cut the deficit by two points in the second quarter.

After Australia regained its control in the third quarter, Lebanon aggressively pushed back the Boomers in the final period, outscoring 30-18 with five 3-pointers made, but Australia managed to come through.

"We kept fighting until the end. We were very close to the trophy," Lebanon's coach Jad El Hajj told a press conference. "Congrats to Australia, they are an amazing team."

Australian coach Michael Clancy Kelly said the match was "a dogfight" as both teams fought hard to the end.

Thon Maker scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Australia, and his teammate Mitchell McCarron added 12 points off the bench with five assists and four rebounds.

Wael Arakji was the most efficient player for the Lebanese squad, making five 3-pointers, scoring 28 points and grabbing seven rebounds with five assists. Ali Haidar also excelled with 23 points and nine rebounds.

Earlier on Sunday, New Zealand took third place after knocking down Jordan 83-75.

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