Japan’s Akatsuki Five FIBA Asia Cup Squad Named
With Argentine tactician Julio Lamas taking charge of the Japanese men’s national basketball squad nicknamed “Akatsuki Five”, the roster is set for next month’s FIBA Asia Cup (Aug 8-20) in Lebanon.
The Japanese Basketball Association (JBA) has announced the twelve players and they are:
Ryoma Hashimoto (SeaHorses Mikawa)
Yuki Togashi (Chiba Jets)
Ryusei Shinoyama (Kawasaki Brave Thunders)
Makoto Hiejima (SeaHorses Mikawa)
Yudai Baba (Toyota Alvark)
Daiki Tanaka (Toyota Alvark)
Takatoshi Furukawa (Ryukyu Golden Kings)
Ryumo Ono (Chiba Jets)
Ira Brown (Ryukyu Golden Kings)
Tenketsu Harimoto (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins)
Atsuya Ota (San-en Neo Phoenix)
Kosuke Takeuchi (Link Tochigi Brex)
In the press introduction for Julio Lamas, who took over the reins from Serbian Luka Pavicevic, the Argentine coach envisioned a fastbreaking Japanese squad who will utilize speed and shooting to negate the traditional height disadvantage against the other national teams.
代表：【リリース】平成29年度男子日本代表チーム FIBA ASIAカップ2017 日本代表選手発表https://t.co/pu7DQmB3DS
— 日本バスケットボール協会(JBA) (@JAPANBASKETBALL) July 25, 2017
In running a fastbreak oriented squad, Lamas has tapped stars Makoto Hiejima, Daiki Tanaka and Yuki Togashi to spearhead the uptempo attack. Supporting the trio are equally quick guards Ryoma Hashimoto and Ryusei Shinoyama. Yudai Baba, a 195cm versatile wingman serves a utility role that fits the perimeter needs of the national team. Serving as the team’s top marksman is 2017 B-League Finals MVP Takatoshi Furukawa who moved from Link Tochigi Brex to the Ryukyu Golden Kings, a former BJ-League team.
Rounding off the team are two centers in old reliable Atsuya Ota and Kosuke Takeuchi. The team is missing Joji Takeuchi. Adding to the front-court that can run the break is naturalized player Ira Brown with stretch fours Ryumo Ono and Tenketsu Harimoto.
In stepping up for the final preparation prior to the Asia Cup, Japan will play host to the visiting Uruguay men’s national team that will be played over the weekends July 29-30 at the Aoyama Gakuin University gym. Then the team will fly to Spain to play a couple of tune ups.
Japan is figured in Group D of the FIBA Asia Cup alongside East Asian rivals Hong Kong, EABA 2017 champions Chinese Taipei and powerhouse Australia, who will be debuting in Asian competition.
image courtesy of FIBA