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2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA WC: Matt Aquino to make Akatsuki Five debut vs Chinese-Taipei

Matthew Aquino finally cracked the final 12 of the Japan Men’s National Basketball Team.

The 6-foot-9 Fil-Japanese made the Akatsuki Five lineup that will take on Chinese-Taipei in the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

The game takes place on Saturday at Okinawa Arena.

Aquino, a product of National University, could not make the final 15 during the first window, which saw Japan drop both of its games against China, going down to 2-0 in Group B.

The 25-year-old son of PBA legend Marlou Aquino is also part of Japan’s pool for the Asian Games.

Joining Aquino to form Japan’s frontcourt are Luke Evans of FE Nagoya, Avi Schafer of Mikawa, and Daichi Taniguchi of Tokyo.

Completing Japan’s cast are Takumi Saito, Takuma Sato, and Yuki Togashi of Chiba; Yudai Nishida of Mikawa; Ryo Terashima of Ryukyu; Isaiah Murphy of Hiroshima; Keita Imamura of Ryukyu; and Takatoshi Furukawa of Akita.

Chinese-Taipei is 0-1 after losing to Australia earlier in the day, 98-61.

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