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2023 FIBA World Cup

Matt Aquino does not make Japan’s Final 12 vs China


Matthew Aquino’s dream of making it to the Akatsuki Five will have to wait.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-Japanese stretch big man was part of the cuts made by the Japan Basketball Association on Thursday afternoon.

Still, the 25-year-old relishes the 10 day experience he had inside the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo.

“Hindi ako nakuha sa Final 12 pero ang dami kong natutunan,” he told Tiebreaker Times.

2021-FIBA-World-Cup-Qualifiers-Japan-Matthew-Aquino-with-five Matt Aquino does not make Japan's Final 12 vs China 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“Sila Coach Tom (Hovasse) at yung management sobrang bait at sobrang positive.”

Though he won’t be a part of the team that will compete against China on the 27th and the 28th, Aquino has received an invite to join the camp for the February and June windows.

Moreover, the JBA has already requested to cut his vacation back in his home country as he will report once again for Japan’s August camp.

2021-FIBA-World-Cup-Qualifiers-Japan-Matthew-Aquino Matt Aquino does not make Japan's Final 12 vs China 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“One month or less than pa nga ako makakauwi kasi may training camp na sa August,” he said.

And Aquino plans to work harder than ever as he wants to crack the lineup.

But now, Aquino shifts his focus back to Shinshu as it will face Mikawa in the fourth round of the Emperor’s Cup on December 1.

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