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Friday, April 20, 2007

BJ-LEAGUE

JABBA sets schedule


Staff writer

Even after the FIBA World Championship ended, there is not time to play hooky.

The Japan Basketball Association (JABBA) announced the schedule for the men's national team until the FIBA Asia Championship, which will be a qualifier for next summer's Beijing Olympics, at the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences in Tokyo on Thursday.

The provisional national team is scheduled to go through 12 rounds of training camps both in and outside Japan before the July 28-Aug. 5 Asia Championships for Men in Tokushima. JABBA recently announced 17 players for the national provisional team roster, and the number will be reduced to 12 before the tourney.

"We're going to drive the young players to hard training," said Kimikazu Suzuki, head coach of Japan since last September. "Otherwise, they don't get stamina. We might want to have some extra training camps only for the young guys, while letting the veteran players rest."

Point guard Kenichi Sako and shooting guard Takehiko Orimo, both 36, were called up for the training camp squad again.

Japan finished sixth in last December's Asia Games in Doha.

Thursday was the first day of the first training camp, and the 17 players went through light workouts.



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