12 - 24
July 2022
39 Keisei Tominaga (JPN)
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Tominaga and his record-breaking performance is just a part of Japan's bright future

JAKARTA (Indonesia) - Keisei Tominaga showed maturity beyond his years as he spearheaded Japan's late uprising against Australia in their FIBA Asia Cup 2022 Quarter-Final encounter at the Istora Senayan.

"It also boosts our confidence because we were able to play our very own brand of basketball until the end."


The 21-year-old fired 13 points in just the fourth quarter, where the Akatsuki Five trimmed what was once a 21-point lead to just nine with four minutes left. He made three triples during that fiery showcase, including one from the logo.

Tominaga went on to finish with a game-high 33 points which is the most in an Asia Cup in the 21st century by a player aged 21 or younger. He shot 60-percent from the floor overall, going 8-for-15 from beyond the arc.

The fightback, unfortunately, fell short as Japan bowed to a 99-85 decision. Tominaga admitted that it is always tough to take a loss, but at the same time felt glad that the crew competed with the Asia Cup 2017.


"Obviously, it was a difficult loss and we felt that we're at the bottom. But in some way, it also boosts our confidence because we were able to play our very own brand of basketball until the end," said the former U18 standout.

Tominaga was also satisfied to have fulfilled his role to the team after not being in his usual form in their 102-81 victory over the Philippines in the Qualification for Quarter-Finals as he went scoreless in 13 minutes of action.

"I was not nervous. There was no pressure regarding my playing. But the last time I stepped onto the court, I could not help much with my shooting. But after that, I switched my mindset," he said about stepping up with Yuta Watanabe out due to an injury.

"And, I made a good contribution on the court. It was really refreshing and nice to feel that I had played my role," he furthered.

Japan would've definitely preferred to have stayed in Jakarta longer. But head coach Tom Hovasse is nonetheless excited with the future of the program, which features, of course, an up-and-coming star like Tominaga.

Hovasse admitted that he did not personally know much about the lefty guard before seeing him in person only weeks before the Asia Cup, and so he was pleasantly surprised to have discovered how good he is.

"I know he's a good shooter. He has a good feel for pump fakes, and creating his own shot, and scoring in the paint," he assessed.

"I was really concerned about his defense coming in. There are still some things he has to work on, but he was better defensively than I thought. It's been really positive working with him. I'm looking forward to it more in the future."

Aside from Tominaga, Hovasse also mentioned some of his players in particular such as Yutaroh Suda, Hirotaka Yoshii, and Soichiro Inoue for a job well done, which for him were enough to say that it was a 'successful' run for them.

"Players like Tominaga, Yoshii played great, Inoue he played great as well, he had a great game, Suda's not young but he really stepped up, too. So seeing these guys come in and accept their roles and just play with everything that they have, it was fantastic. I'm excited about the future of Japan basketball," he said.

"There are some young guys who have stepped up and yeah, we're finding little pieces to the puzzle. I think this was a successful tournament for us."

The 53-year-old couldn't wait to see that puzzle become complete moving forward, particularly when the who's who of Japan hoops come in.

"When Yuta [Watanabe] comes back, when Rui Hachimura gets in there, and Yudai Baba, some bigger bodies that can score and rebound and defend, I think it's just gonna be very interesting for us," he offered.

"That's why these games are so important to create a good team so when they come in, they have to come in and fit with what we're doing. And, I think, we're definitely heading in the right direction," Hovasse added.