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04 - 09
July 2016
15 Joji TAKEUCHI (Japan)
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Hiejima, Joji Takeuchi headline Japan OQT preliminary squad

TOKYO (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Japan on Thursday announced their 16-man preliminary squad for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Belgrade with 11 of the 12 players that competed at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship included.

Power forward Gaku Arao is the only member of the side that finished fourth in Changsha-Hunan last year not involved.

Japan 16-player preliminary squad for OQT in Belgrade

 Papemour Faye  Takatoshi Furukawa  Ryoma Hashimoto  Makoto Hiejima
 Kenta Hirose  Kosuke Kanamaru  Keijuro Matsui  Ryumo Ono
 Atsuya Ota  Ryusei Shinoyama  Yuta Tabuse  Joji Takeuchi
 Kosuke Takeuchi  Daiki Tanaka  Naoto Tsuji  Yuta Watanabe

Guard Makoto Hiejima and Joji Takeuchi, the team's leading scorers in China at 15.9 points and 15.6 points per game respectively, are set to play prominent roles again. They were outstanding in many of last year's contests for the Japanese.

Yuta Watanabe, a 21-year-old forward with the George Washington Colonials in American college basketball, is among the 16 players that will be at training camp. Watanabe played for Japan at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

Japan have also included naturalized player Pape Faye, a 2.00m center of BJ League side Niigata Albirex. 

Japan will play against the Czech Republic and Latvia in Group B of the OQT. Only the winner of the six-team event, which also has Angola, Puerto Rico and Serbia, will qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The team will gather for training on Wednesday. The OQT is to be staged in Belgrade 4-9 July.