Japan Unveils 22 Player Pool for February 2018 Window 2 FIBA Asian Qualifiers

japan basketball national team fiba world cup november 2017 qualifier roster

On the eve of the 2018 Emperor’s Cup, the Japanese Basketball Association has announced the 22 player pool for the second window of the FIBA Asian Qualifiers to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Ira Brown (Ryukyu Golden Kings), Atsuya Ota (Phoenix San’en), Kosuke Takeuchi (Tochigi Brex), Joji Takeuchi (Toyota Alvark), Takuya Kawamura (Yokohama B-Corsairs), Takatoshi Furukawa (Ryukyu Golden Kings), Ryoma Hashimoto (Mikawa SeaHorses), Ryusei Shinoyama (Kanagawa Brave Thunders), Ryota Nakanishi (Kumamoto Volters), Kosuke Kanamaru (Mikawa SeaHorses), Naoto Tsuji (Kanagawa Brave Thunders), Makoto Hiejima (Mikawa SeaHorses), Naoya Kumagae (Osaka Evessa), Naoki Uto (Toyama Grouses), Yuya Nagayoshi (Kyoto Hannaryz), Daiki Tanaka (Toyota Alvark), Tenketsu Harimoto (Nagoya Dolphins), Yuki Togashi (Chiba Jets) Yudai Baba (Toyota Alvark), Hyu Watanabe aka Hugh Hogland (Portland Pilots), Yudai Nishida (Tokai University), Chikara Tanaka (Yokosuka Shiritsu Sakamoto Junior High School)

Returning are last year’s twelve man team that played in first window of the Asian qualifiers versus the visiting Philippines quad and travelled to Australia to play the Boomers. Japan wound up losing to the Philippines 77-71 in Tokyo and then later falling against the Boomers in Melbourne, 82-58.

Despite the 0-2 record to start the Akatsuki Five’s World Cup qualifying campaign, head coach Julio Lamas is losing no sleep in preparing for the second window where Japan is set to host East Asian rivals Chinese Taipei in Yokohama on February 22, 2018. Then Japan will travel to Manila on February 25, 2018 to face the Philippines in a rematch at the Mall of Asia Arena.

One bright newcomer to the training pool is Portland Pilots freshman Hugh Hogland, a 207cm center who is a three-time All-Interscholastic League of Honolulu First Team pick before enrolling to Portland. Hogland. Currently, Hogland is a teammate of Tahirou Diabate, a product of Teikyo Nagaoka.

With Japan’s post players Joji and Kosuke Takeuchi ageing, players such as Hogland are a welcome addition to reinforce Japan for the future. NCAA players Yuta Watanabe of George Washington and Rui Hachimura of Gonzaga are excluded from the pool as the NCAA season is ongoing and gearing towards March Madness.

The Japanese national team will assemble for a weekend training camp that will start late in January and from February 19 – 21, a closed door training camp in Tokyo will be held.

image courtesy of FIBA

Aya Shozama

Aya Shozama Aya likes bacon, fries and those piña coladas. Her dream is to hug all care bears one day. View my other posts