Can Japan, which is included in the ‘Group of Death’, show its competitiveness in the home?
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) interviewed Japanese national team coach Tom Horvath on the 4th (Korean time) to discuss Japan’s determination to compete in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup co-host. The first round (Group E-F) and the second round (Group K-L) will be held at the Okinawa Arena in Japan.
Japan, ranked 36th in the FIBA rankings, is placed in Group E along with Germany (11th), Finland (24th) and Australia (3rd). It is the so-called ‘group of death’. FIBA conducted a ‘group of death’ vote through the official website after the group was organized, and group E ranked third. 1st and 2nd were Group H (Canada, Latvia, Lebanon, France) and Group C (USA, Jordan, Greece, New Zealand).
FIBA said, “Group E, which includes Japan, may be the toughest group in this tournament. They also know how competitive the teams they have to play against are.”
Australia is considered the strongest in Group E, having placed fourth in the 2019 World Cup and winning the bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Finland also joined Lauri Makkanen, who won the NBA’s Skill Development Award, and Germany ranked third in the 2022 EuroBasket.
Togashi Yuki said, “It’s not an easy group, but since the grouping is over, we have to prepare accordingly. The competition is held in Okinawa, and on the other hand, expectations are high. I want to do my best,” he said.
Japan lost 85-99 to Australia in the quarterfinals of last year’s FIBA Asia Cup. Keisei Tominaga, who is playing in the NCAA, played an active role with 33 points, including 8 3-pointers, but Watanabe Yuta was absent, and it was not enough to face the heights of Australia. Japan showed a 29-51 inferiority in the rebound fight.
Unlike the Asian Cup, Watanabe is expected to play against Australia in the World Cup, and another NBA leaguer, Rui Hachimura, will also join. Also, Baba Yudai, who has experience in the Summer League, G League and Australian League, is likely to join. FIBA said, “Watanabe and Hachimura will be a big plus for Japan’s power. As Japanese fans know, Baba Yudai is also a very good player.”
Of course, Australia will also participate in the World Cup with stronger power than the Asian Cup with Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, and Josh Giddy joining them. FIBA said of Japan’s power, “The biggest weakness is defense under the goal and rebounding. He evaluated that he would be able to show competitiveness only when his fast-paced offense and three-point shot were powerful.” 카지노
“I want to get two wins in the first round,” Horvath said. You won’t be able to advance to the second round with just one win. If NBA leaguers join, there will be some new preparations, but I know the key players well. With fast basketball as my main weapon, I will not give up until the end.”