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Machida, Tokashiki back for Japan and ready to light it up in Osaka
OSAKA (Japan) - An array of Japanese stars are back for the FIBA Women's Basketball Qualifying Tournaments next month, including Olympic sensation Rui Machida and Ramu Tokashiki who returns from injury.
Playmaker Machida, who set a new game high record for assists at the Tokyo Olympics and helped her team take a historic silver medal, missed her team's FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021 success in Amman.
As did long-time team leader Tokashiki, who suffered the heartache of being ruled out of both events last year after undergoing surgery.
The return of Tokashiki in particular will give fans plenty to cheer, while there is also a place for the likes of FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021 MVP Himawari Akaho and their three leading Olympic scorers in Maki Takada, Yuki Miyazawa and Saki Hayashi.
|Japan's 19-player squad for WWCQT|
|Himawari Akaho||Manami Fujioka||Saki Hayashi||Kaede Kondo|
|Rui Machida||Evelyn Mawuli||Stephanie Mawuli||Saori Miyazaki|
|Yuki Miyazawa||Naho Miyoshi||Nako Motohashi||Monica Okoye|
|Tamami Nakada||Maki Takada||Rika Tanimura||Nanako Todo|
|Ramu Tokashiki||Mai Yamamoto||Mai Yoshida|
Toru Onzuka continues to hold the coaching reins having taken over from his predecessor Tom Hovasse post Tokyo 2020, proceeding to deliver instant success by masterminding Japan's fifth consecutive Continental title.
Japan will need all their big guns firing when they step out in Osaka since they face Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Canada, with many observers citing this tournament as a 'Group of Death'.