FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is on the horizon, bringing with it not only the thrill of competition but also the weight of qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics. This event holds immense significance as all 32 teams, except France, participating are under pressure to secure their spots.
Among the teams, Japan stands out as one of the three host nations, sharing Group E with strong contenders like Germany, Australia, and Finland.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura made waves by opting out of the upcoming tournament. As a result, the spotlight now shines on Phoenix Suns sharpshooter Yuta Watanabe, who has risen to become the premier star of the Japanese national team.
During a recent meeting within the Japanese NT, Watanabe conveyed a clear message. He stated that he would step away from wearing the Japan jersey if the team failed to qualify for next year’s Olympics.
“I have played for the Japanese national team for almost 13 years. I have never left any results during this period of representing the country. If I can’t advance to next year’s Paris Olympics with this squad this time, I think this World Cup will be the last time I will wear the national team jersey,” Watanabe said, via UDN.
In the upcoming World Cup, two Olympic spots are dedicated to Europe and the Americas, while Africa, Asia, and Oceania will receive one ticket each.
Source : Basket News