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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.