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Thread: Japanese National Team 2014 - 2015

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    Default Japanese National Team 2014 - 2015

    FIBA is putting pressure on the JBA to address issues after the warnings made on 2005 as well as serial recommendations after hosting the 2006 world championships or face sanctions.

    1. Ratify a national league that represents Japan's professional basketball league

    FIBA finds is strange that Japan has the NBL and BJ-League that are both JBA accredited. FIBA secretary Patrick Baumann stated that JBA unites these two but the shaky history of merger negotiations falls apart due to a lot of technical matters that hinders a feasible model in terms of organization and internal structure from revenue model and franchise standardization. While the JBA is pushing the NBL to FIBA as Japan's national representation, FIBA has doubts on its quality and internal structure. While the BJ-League is a closed circuit, continuously expanding base that does not even care about FIBA's operating standards. Baumann stated that old NBA rules are being used like ball carriers being able to call timeouts. The NBL's re-branding has yet to strike a favorable impression from FIBA's delegates as it still bears the traditional JBL internal structure.

    2. Concerns over the men's national team and its programs

    Now that the 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Baumann urged the JBA to craft a long term program or waive the traditional automatic berth being the host team. This has been the concern of Baumann since 2009 in which FIBA expected progress after 2006, but the JBA grew silent and internalized matters rather than report progress. Baumann in his last trip expressed concerns over the dismal performance of the men's teams since 2007. Separately, the women's national team has drawn up a solid program that impressed Baumann and lauded the efforts of the organizers for winning the 2013 Women's FIBA championships. Unlike the women, men's teams suffer from competence but are starting to adapt into the grassroot enrichment that the women's side are implementing. Must be from the recent re-shuffling of the JBA of committees for both women and men's teams.

    Facilities are something that FIBA has had no problems with Japan and have praised the existing ones being used by the NBL and BJ-League. From an official statement made by the JBA, they told the press that they will address this and continuously have been doing so.


    Rumor has it that Nick Fazekas is being considered as a naturalized player for the men's team but the latter seems to be more interested in playing for the Hungarian national team. While many fans are also appealing and reaching out to Fazekas online to help the team and Fazekas replying each time that he is humbled for the thought but nothing concrete.

    Based on recent rumors, JBA wants a foreign coach to handle the national team after Kimikazu Suzuki. Names like Toyota's Donald Becka and Wakayama's Zeljko Pavlicevic, who was the coach fo the 2006 national team.
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    FIBA warns JBA about problems

    FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann has advised the Japan Basketball Association to resolve issues that exist inside the nation’s basketball circles or face greater problems in the future, according to Japanese media reports.

    Baumann asked JBA executives during a Tuesday meeting in Tokyo to work on mending the status quo between the National Basketball League (the rebranded Japan Basketball League) and the bj-league, according to news accounts of that meeting, and to clarify which league is officially Japan’s legitimate top hoops circuit.

    The now-21-team bj-league, which was launched in 2005 as Japan’s first professional league, became recognized by the JBA in 2010. But Baumann took exception to bj-league rules, such as a ball-carrying player being able to call a timeout, citing this violates FIBA rules.

    Baumann, an IOC member, reportedly said that the game in Japan has not made progress since the nation hosted the 2006 FIBA World Championship. What’s more, he even stated that Japan’s national teams might not earn automatic berths for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a sign of FIBA’s growing frustrations with the JBA.

    Japan, which used to be one of Asia’s top basketball nations, has had poor results in recent men’s international events. The men’s squad has finished eighth, 10th, seventh and ninth in the last four Asia Championships.

    But the Japan women’s team captured its first Asia Championship title in 43 years last month.

    Baumann’s stern message this week wasn’t the first time that the JBA received similar warnings from basketball’s world governing body. In February 2009, then-FIBA president Bob Elphinston and Baumann visited Japan and told the JBA that they were concerned about the two-league situation that many view as a mind-numbing impasse.

    Then there was a JBA-led move to launch a new league for 2013, seeking to unite the two as one.

    Those efforts failed. The JBL then changed its name to the NBL, which currently has 12 teams, four more than last season.

    Reacting to Baumann’s statements, JBA deputy chairman Yasuhiko Fukatsu told reporters, “We need to work on the homework we were given from FIBA.”

    In Tokyo, Baumann also promoted the 3×3 game, which FIBA is seeking to get included into the Olympic program in the future.
    -Japan Times
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    Every year it seems the BJ-League's only call ups where Hamamatsu's Atsuya Ota and then Shimane's Takumi Ishizaki. Ishizaki is abroad and for the past year and a half is focused on his overseas career. Ota is the stalwart sentinel from the BJ-League ranks. Next year, Yuki Togashi could be called up for the player pool as his sophomore year has elevated his game. Currently, Akita is reaping the rewards of having Togashi, a fiery point guard that Hayabusa lacked.

    Naoto Tsuji was not a point guard, Ryota Sakurai is not a point guard and the closest thing that the national team had for a point guard was Makoto Hiejima. Akita's mentor, Kazuo Nakamura insisted earlier this year that Togashi is national team material.

    Last time Togashi manned the point for Japan was with the 2011 Jones Cup team where he was teammates with Sean Ichioka. Togashi is an all-star this year and just turned 20.




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    Meanwhile, Yuta Watanabe is honing his skills in the United Sates with St. Thomas More's basketball program. Watanabe is averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds per outing, constantly working on his shot and building his physique. Watanabe is hoping to enroll in an NCAA Division I school despite a lot of offers from Japan's top university teams.

    Unlike the previous Japanese players like Keijuro Matsui, Ryo Tawatari, Taishi Ito and Yuki Togashi, who have played basketball in north America, Watanabe is generating a following based on his progress. Expectations are big that he improves himself.
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    Former U16 standout Louise "Rui" Hachimura stated after leading Meisei to the All Japan Highschool championship stated that he wants to get extremely better and play for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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    A head coach will be named sometime by April according to floating information around the league.
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    Basing on the 2014-2015 JBA basketball calendar, the following tournaments are being lined up for the men's preparations for the 17th Asian Games.

    25th FIBA Asia Champion's Cup - June 6 - June 13 Kuwait

    5th FIBA Asia Cup - July 11 - July 19 China

    Not listed is the Jones Cup in Taiwan for this year. Basing on rumors if the main national team won't participate, Japan will send its Team B aka 2020 Olympic training team. The Pocari Sweat Challenge could also be featured but nothing definite in which the main national team will play three exhibition games. On rumors, JBA wants to hold a larger four team tournament to begin the propaganda of Tokyo's 2020 Olympics and generate more proceeds for the Sendai reconstruction effort.
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    Wakayama's Takuya Kawamura stated with iNewsJP that he will participate with the national team for international duties this year. Kawamura stated that playing under Zeljko Pavlicevic made him a complete player and would like to give back to the national team as thanks for supporting him in his NBA Summer League pursuit last year, despite him missing Team Hayabusa's campaign last year.
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    Link Tochigi star and Japan's basketball ambassador, Yuta Watanabe recently appeared in a FUJI TV special segment called "Suporuto" , a recurring TV program to talk about Japan's basketball program for the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
    http://www.linktochigibrex.com/news/2014/03/1676.html

    Tabuse stated that Rui Hachimura (Mesei HS) and Yuta Watanabe (George Washington) are the players for the future.
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    Lack of one-league system could cost Japan in 2020

    The Japan Basketball Association is being urged to make an organizational overhaul.

    In an unusual move, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has indicated Japan might not be afforded the usual host-city right to skip qualifications and appear in the Olympics—the Tokyo Games in 2020—if the JBA doesn’t come through on plans that include improvement of its management system and advancement of player development.

    At the heart of the matter is the coexistence of two top leagues, the National Basketball League and the bj-League, both being sanctioned by the JBA, something FIBA wants abolished.

    At its Feb. 11 board meeting, the JBA targeted the 2016-17 season for the start of a brand-new men’s league that would combine the NLB and bj-League.

    However, the bj-League has said there has been a one-sided push to conform without the groundwork being laid, and added the process is being moved ahead without listening to the input from the league and its teams.

    Another issue is the NBL teams, which include corporate-run clubs such as Toyota that are opposed to forming an all-professional-player league. These issues are bogging down the process.

    In addition to a quick solution to the two-league problem, FIBA has demanded the JBA make a drastic reform, referring to the fact that a business section of the association accrued significant deficits while hosting an international competition. Also, the country’s men’s team has long been a pushover in world-class competition, failing to qualify for the Olympics in many years.

    FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann, who spoke with The Yomiuri Shimbun, said organizational reform would be the only chance for the JBA to earn back the trust of FIBA, and if the basketball’s governing body isn’t satisfied with the results, withdrawal of the host city’s automatic appearance in the 2020 Games was a possibility.
    -JP News

    Baumann was puzzled on why the NBL and BJ-League are on opposite ends in terms of structure and the official game rules. Both operate under the JBA and under the eyes of FIBA, that screams mess and incompetence. That talk of the NBL (soon to be known as the P-League) and BJ-League merger has yielded nothing for so many years. After the hosting of the 2006 FIBA World Championships, JBA did promise a lot of reforms and address the key points of FIBA. So far, nothing concrete.

    A hard hitting piece by the Japan Times a month ago: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2...l-association/
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    JBA announced a re-structure of Japan's basketball leagues for the 2016-17 season to appease one of FIBA's questions about the correlation of the existing NBL, BJ-League and the NBL D-League.

    First up is the rebranding of the NBL into the P-League, a professional league.

    Then the JBA unveiled the concepts of the A-League and B-League.

    A-League - Developmental league that is a facelift of the existing NBL D-League.

    B-League - Corporate league circuit which is most likely professional-amateur composition of players. Open for corporations and ownership groups to field basketball teams.

    One glaring question was: "Where will the BJ-League place in all of this?" Spokesperson just told the press that they hope that the BJ-League will join this endeavor. At the same time, the JBA also announced that the BJ-League's license under the JBA will expire in 2016. Press are reporting that the BJ-League officials are claiming that these announcements came out of nowhere and they were not given any information.

    This is still a political game by the JBA's old boys Tanuki club. It seems that the plan is to kill off the BJ-League through raiding its ranks by having the top teams defect into the P-League within the next seasons, then revoke the BJ-League's license to operate and offer up the smaller BJ-League teams to join the A-League.

    A much more diplomatic solution will be trying to coerce the BJ-League to join forces for awhile by using the license and recognition by the JBA towards the BJ-League as blackmail; put up a farce front for FIBA and go their separate ways after the 2020 Olympics. Similar to the scenario of the Great Britain unifications and quick dissolution prior and after the London Olympics.
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    Aoyama Gakuin's head coach Kenji Hasegawa was named head coach of the national team for the 2014-2015 span. The JBA took a cue from USA Basketball's initiative with Mike Kyrzyzewski in hiring a coach from the amateur ranks to lead a national team. A player pool will be named after the NBL playoffs conclude.
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    Japanese national player pool announced for the 2014-15 international sorties.

    Atsuya Ota (Hamamatsu Phoenix Higashimikawa)
    Takumi Ishizaki (MHP Ludwigsberg)
    Shohei Kikuchi (Toyota Alvark)
    Takeki Shonaka (Toyoa Alvark)
    Yusuke Okada (Toyota Alvark)
    Kosuke Takeuchi (Toyota Alvark)
    Joji Takeuchi (Hitachi SunRockerz)
    Kenta Hirose (Hitachi SunRockerz)
    Takuya Kawamura (Wakayama Trians)
    Dieye Sakamoto (Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins)
    Takatoshi Furukawa (Link Tochigi Brex)
    Takahiro Kurihara (Toshiba Brave Thunder)
    Ryumo Ono (Chiba Jets)
    Hironori Watanabe (Link Tochigi Brex)
    Kosuke Kanamaru (Aishin Sea Horses)
    Naoto Tsuji (Toshiba Brave Thunder)
    Yuki Mitsuhara (Hitachi SunRockerz)
    Makoto Hiejima (Aishin Sea Horses)
    Sean Ichioka (Aishin Sea Horses)
    Yuya Nagayoshi (Toshiba Brave Thunder)
    Daiki Tanaka (Toyota Alvark)
    Tenketsu Harimoto (Toyota Alvark)
    Kengo Nomoto (Aoyama Gakuin)
    Kosuke Hashimoto (Tokai University)
    Yuki Togashi (Akita Northern Happinets)
    Yuta Watanabe (George Washington)

    A young pool of players with the average age is 25.7 years of age. Ota is the oldest at 30 while the youngest is Yuta Watanabe. Missing are veterans like JR Sakuragi who has declared retirement from the national team. Ryota Sakurai and Keijuro Matsui from last year are not included. Takuya Kawamura, Hironori Watanabe, Takumi Ishizaki, Takatoshi Furukawa and Joji Takeuchi have returned. I got my wish that Akita's Yuki Togashi is included.

    Team will participate in the FIBA Asia Cup in July, William Jones Cup in August and then the Incheon Asian Games. Target is the 2015 FIBA Asia tournament. Federation said that they are most likely to naturalize a player early next year.
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    JBA was notified by FIBA to draw up concrete blueprints on fixing internal structure and unifying the organization of the NBL / BJ-League or face a ban in October.

    1. http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/news...9370003-n1.htm

    2. http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20140...50064000c.html
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    Xebio Challenge Cup 2014 was last year's Pocari Sweat challenge. Japan will be fielding a new group of development players lead by Kosuke Hashimoto and Yuma Fuji. Team is composed of your pros from the NBL as well as a portion of University League's top seniors and juniors.

    Yuma Fuji (Toshiba Brave Thunder)
    Ryosuke Shirahama (Aisin Mikawa Seahorses)
    Soichiro Fujitaka (Hitachi SunRockerz)
    Takanobu Nishikawa (Levanga Hokkaido)
    Yutaro Suda (Link Tochigi Brex)
    Seiya Ando (Meiji University)
    Taito Nakahigashi (Meiji University)
    Takaya Sasayama (Meiji University)
    Kengo Nomoto (Aoyama Gakuin)
    Akihisa Kosaka (Osaka University)
    Leo Vendorame (Tokai University)
    Kosuke Hashimoto (Tokai University)

    ^^ Slightly weaker than last year's East Asian Games squad. They will face the touring Springfield basketball team.

    uly 19, 2014 Kyoto tournament Hannah Leeds Arena 16:00
    July 20, 2014 Osaka Maishima Arena 17:00
    July 21, 2014 Round 3 of Kobe Green Arena Kobe 16:00

    Meanwhile, Japan is in group A of the 5th FIBA Asia Cup.
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    Tentative roster for the upcoming 5th Asia Cup

    Atsuya Ota
    Takumi Ishizaki
    Shohei Kikuchi
    Takeki Shonaka
    Yusuke Okada
    Kosuke Takeuchi
    Joji Takeuchi
    Kenta Hirose
    Dieye Sakamoto
    Ryomo Ono
    Kosuke Kanamaru
    Naoto Tsuji
    Makoto Hiejima
    Yuya Nagayoshi
    Daiki Tanaka
    Tenketsu Harimoto

    Takuya Kawamura and Takahiro Kurihara could rejoin next week depending on their recovery.
    Last edited by CKR13; 06-11-2014 at 01:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKR13 View Post
    Tentative roster for the upcoming 5th Asia Cup

    Atsuya Ota
    Takumi Ishizaki
    Shohei Kikuchi
    Taishi Ito
    Yusuke Okada
    Kosuke Takeuchi
    Joji Takeuchi
    Kenta Hirose
    Dieye Sakamoto
    Ryomo Ono
    Kosuke Kanamaru
    Naoto Tsuji
    Yuya Nagayoshi
    Daiki Tanaka
    Tenketsu Harimoto

    Takuya Kawamura and Takahiro Kurihara could rejoin next week depending on their recovery.
    One of the few blue collar players Japn had is injured..As long as the Takeuchi's will still "play rich" Japan might fail to duplicate their good performance in non fiba qualifying tournament years(2010,2012..) which is strange for Japan
    To becomes Asia's Best, we need to compete against the World's Best..

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    We still have two months to go before the Asian games and there will be injuries as well was players inserted back once and if they are able to. At this point in the careers of Kosuke and Joji, you cannot really expect them to be physical all of a sudden to be even considered a remote enforcer underneath. Thing is, Joji was projected to be the better player due to him being mobile and having the depth of touch while Kosuke was more grounded and showed flashes of old school basketball. Joji plateaued early while Kosuke was more refined and solid in fundamentals than ever. Joji's mentality was that he was a complete player and stopped refining on those areas while Kosuke, knowing his deficiencies used that as a motor to improve. This year, Kosuke is working on his three point shooting while Joji is working at everything to just come close to his previous years.

    With the looming change of FIBA's qualifying system in 2017, Japan has a low chance of achieving something ground-breaking given that the threat of suspension is looming this October. JBA is preparing for 2017 and beyond by emulating the women's grassroots and player development programs.
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    Current depth chart of the FIBA Asia Cup training roster:

    PG - Ishizaki, Shonaka, Tsuji, Hiejima
    SG - Kanamaru, Kikuchi, Okada, Tanaka
    SF - Hirose, Ono, Harimoto
    PF - K. Takeuchi, J. Takeuchi,
    C - Ota, Sakamoto, Nagayoshi

    Quite crowded in the guard department but Tsuji and Hiejima seem like a lock. Kanamaru and Tanaka can move up into the SF spot.
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    Is this naturalized guy Mamadou Dieye (now known as Dieye Sakamoto) any good?



    Here's an interview (in French) from 2007 where he keeps talking about how proud he would be to represent Senegal NT.
    http://www.senebasket.com/Interview-...apon_a816.html
    Last edited by sinobball; 06-15-2014 at 10:10 PM.
    aim low, score high

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