Panasonic pulls plug on JBL team

Staff Report

As Panasonic Corp. restructures due to financial problems, the JBL’s Panasonic Trians, considered one of the pillars of the sport here for decades, will dissolve after the 2012-13 season, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

The Trians are coming off a fourth-place finish in the eight-team JBL first division. This season starts on Oct. 5, a year before the rebranded JBL combines JBL and JBL2 squads and the bj-league’s Chiba Jets, who are defecting after the season.

Coach Yoshiaki Shimizu’s roster includes veteran post player Charles O’Bannon, a UCLA product, big man Jameel Watkins, who attended Georgetown University, captain/guard Makoto Nagayama and forward Kosuke Kanamaru, a Japan national team member.

Over the years, the Panasonic-backed team has had a variety of names, including Matsushita Electronic Panasonic Kangaroos, since it was established in 1952.

Panasonic posted a deficit of ¥772.1 billion for the fiscal year ending in March. The electronics giant also announced plans to disband its badminton team.