Japan’s biggest stars will not take part in the Clark window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe will not be part of the Akatsuki Five delegation that will compete in AUF Sports & Cultural Center from June 16 to 20.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas confirmed the development.
Also not part of Japan’s team is Yudai Baba, who plays for Melbourne in the National Basketball League.
The Julio Llamas-mentored squad will bring in 17 players, headline by naturalized Japanese Gavin Edwards and Ryan Rossiter.
Vets Kosuke Takeuchi, Joji Takeuchi, Ryusei Shinoyama, Kosuke Kanamaru, Naoto Tsuji, Makoto Hiejima, and Aki Chambers are also part of the roster.
Completing the Japanese cast are Daiki Tanaka, Tenketsu Harimoto, Shuto Ando, Yuki Togashi, Leo Bendrame, Shuto Ando, Avi Schafer, and Hugh Watanabe.
The 25-man Japan contingent is expected to arrive at 9:40PM tonight at Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Japan will initially face China on the 16th and the 19th. It will later take on Chinese-Taipei on the 18th.
“I want to compete well and win if possible,” Llamas told Basketball King Japan.