JAPAN coach Kimikazu Suzuki is dissatisfied with his team’s performance in the first round and says they need to raise their level of play if they want to go deeper in the Fiba-Asia Championship.
The Japanese cagers finished with an even 1-1 record in three-team Group B, its lone victory coming at the expense of Hong Kong, 76-59, on Friday.
The team dropped a winnable contest in the opener, bowing to Qatar by just a point, 74-75, on Thursday.
Now Suzuki hopes to help his team to play at a high-level in the next round against the Philippines, Chinese-Taipei and Jordan.
“We dropped a very close game that we could have won,” said Suzuki. “We need to play strong against Jordan, Philippines, and Chinese-Taipei in the second round.”
Japan is out to bounce back this year after reaching the quarterfinals in Wuhan two years ago where it lost to Korea in the final eight.
A Japan player to watch out for is Kosuke Kanamaru, who dropped 27 points against Qatar after shooting 10-of-13 from the field wihle hitting four three-pointers.
All three teams in Group B advanced to the next round after Lebanon dropped out of the competition due to a suspension imposed by world governing body Fiba.