Ren Kanechika vs Mason Amos: Who had the better debut?
BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Even though it was already the final window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers, both the Philippines and Japan still had one more trick up their sleeves.
The trick? Two up-and-coming teenagers who would end up making exciting debuts with their senior national teams.
For the Philippines, it was 18-year-old Mason Amos. For Japan, it was Ren Kanechika, who was 19 years old at the time of his first appearance with Akatsuki Japan.
Don't forget to vote for who you think had the more impressive debut HERE!
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Mason Amos committed to play at the collegiate level with Ateneo de Manila University early last year, which is where he will be playing for the majority of the time in the near future. Before ever getting to play for the popular Blue Eagles, Amos has already shown much potential playing for the national team whether it was at the U18 Asian Championship 2022 or, as mentioned above, the last window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.
In what was his senior national team debut against Lebanon, Amos played 8 minutes and went perfect from the field with 5 attempts (3 of which were three-pointers) to finish with 13 points.
“It was exciting. There are a lot of people here, a great community, love the Philippines. It’s good representing the country and I’m thankful,” said the 2.01M (6’7”) center.
“Just energy coming in off the bench,” said Amos of what he provided for the team. “Really something new like I just stepped up and shot the ball. It feels great. It feels different from the youth club, so it’s something great.”
As Ren Kanechika is slightly older than Amos, he was already headed into his senior national team debut as a collegiate player for the prestigious Tokai University. However, not long after making a splash with Akatsuki Japan, Kanechika is now also taking the next step ahead as he is joining the Chiba Jets as a development player for the remainder of this season. Next season, he will be a full-time player with the B.League powerhouse.
よろしくお願いします🙌 https://t.co/qPqxkx93yg— 金近 廉 (@renkanechika_13) April 5, 2023
There shouldn’t be much shock in the Japan basketball circles about this development of Kanechika’s career. The now-20-year-old has been a part of many Japan youth national teams and in his senior national team debut against Iran, he made sure international basketball fans would remember his name. The 1.96M (6’5”) played 25 minutes against Iran and rained in 6 three-pointers on his way to a 20-point debut game.
“I was able to shoot after I got the rebound. I felt relieved that I made that shot at that time.
After that, I was able to make a three-pointer comfortably. Coach Tom Hovasse told me to go aggressively, so felt very comfortable. With my teammates support, I was able to have a good game,” said Kanechika after that game.
Which teenager do you think had the more impressive senior national team debut?