05/01/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/01/2017 04:20
TOKYO (EABA Championship 2017) - The Japanese national men's team continued with their training camp at the Ajinomoto National Training Center last week, preparing hard for the EABA Championship 2017.
Because the brief training camp was held in the middle of the inaugural B.League season, the Japan national team coaching staff restrained the intensity of their practice sessions, and the Akatsuki Five focused mainly on transition defense in their practice sessions. In particular, the Japanese focused on defending the opposing teams' fastbreak attacks, stopping the pick-and-roll and improving their help defense.
'I think that there is still room for improvement in the transition defense as far as I have watched Japan's national team's previous game and the B.League,' said interim Japan head coach Luka Pavicevic.'For a team that is not that big, Japan must absolutely be strong in their transition game.'Luka Pavicevic
The 48-year-old Pavicevic, who has had extensive experience coaching at the international level with Serbia, his native Montenegro and Iran, expects the national team players to raise their level of play to meet world standards. He also hopes this will trickle down to when they're playing for their club teams, thus raising the level of the B. League as well. He will handle the Akatsuki Five in the coming EABA tournament before handing the reins over to another veteran international tactician, Julio Lamas, who will be the team's head coach for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 and the Qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
'In order to improve Japan's basketball in the future, there are many things to learn from Coach Luka,' said veteran national team frontliner Yuki Mitsuhara. 'We are all learning a lot, and we are taking the initiative to incorporate things that our clubs can also adopt.'
The national team's next training camp will be held next month, and it will be the last one before the EABA Championship, where Japan are in the same group as Korea and Macau. The EABA Championship 2017, which will be in Nagano from 2-7 June, serves as a qualifier for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 that will be held in Beirut, Lebanon from August 10 to 20. The top five teams from this competition will earn tickets to the continental tournament.
The last EABA Championship was held four years ago in Incheon, Korea, and Japan landed on 3rd place after defeating Hong Kong, 87-71.