Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe have been named in Japan’s 20-man pool for both the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ Clark window and the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Japan will compete in a killer set of tournaments in preparation for the Games that it will host this August. And this includes the final window for the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Hachimura, a 6-foot-8 utility forward, is coming off a stellar year with the Washington Wizards that saw him average 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Watanabe, on the other hand, is a 6-foot-9 forward who is in his third year in the NBA and playing for the Toronto Raptors.
The Akatsuki Five will also have two players to select from in its naturalized player spot. There’s 6-foot-9 Gavin Edwards who plays for the Chiba Jets; and 6-foot-9 Ryan Rossiter from the Link Tochigi Brex.
Also part of the pool are veterans Kosuke Takeuchi, Joji Takeuchi, Ryusei Shinoyama, Kosuke Kanamaru, Naoto Tsuji, Shin Hiejima, and Aki Chambers.
Completing the Japanese cast are Daiki Tanaka, Tenji Harimoto, Shuto Ando, Yuki Togashi, Reo Bendrame, Shuto Ando, Yudai Baba, Avi Schafer, and Hiyu Watanabe.
The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has badly affected Pool B of the Qualifiers. Chinese-Taipei is 1-1, while Japan and Malaysia are 1-0. China has yet to play a game. Malaysia, meanwhile, has already pulled out of the competition.
Japan will face China on the 16th and the 19th. It will later take on Chinese-Taipei on the 18th.
After the Qualifiers, Japan will return home for a three-game friendly against Iran on the 23rd, 25th, and 27th.
Japan will then figure in multiple tune-up games until days before the Olympics, according to a report by Yahoo! Japan.