Former UConn standout Gavin Edwards will make his Japan Men’s National Basketball Team debut when they take on China in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday.
Edwards was naturalized early this year and plays for Chiba. He comes in over Ryan Rossiter for tomorrow’s game.
“Where I can contribute to the team, both (Nick) Fazekas and Rossiter have an excellent offense. The situation judgment is also excellent and there is scoring power. Compared to them, I think I can play physically inside and contribute to the team there,” Edwards told the Japan Basketball Association.
“Especially the defense side. In both the Asian Cup qualifying and the Olympics, I think that there are many players who are physically strong, so I would like to help the team in that part.”
Veterans Makoto Hiejima, Yuki Togashi, Kosuke Takeuchi, Joji Takeuchi, and former PBA import Seiya Ando highlight the roster unveiled by the Japanese Basketball Association on the eve of the match.
Also part of the cast are Avi Schafer, Leo Vendrame, Shuto Ando, Kosuke Kanamaru, Hugh Watanabe, and Tenketsu Harimoto.
The cuts were Naoto Tsuji, Aki Chambers, Daiki Tanaka, and Ryusei Shinoyama. But Coach Julio Lamas could use all of them since they will have a busy schedule ahead.
After facing the Chinese, Japan will battle Chinese Taipei on the 18th. It then concludes its campaign with another match with China on the 19th.
The Japanese team is coming off a 16-month layoff since it was unable to compete in the previous window due to the pandemic. It last played in February 2020, where it drubbed the Taiwanese, 96-57.