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The bj league, Japan’s first professional basketball circuit with six men’s teams, will hold an open tryout for all applicants in February before fairly distributing the players between the teams, league officials said Monday.

The physical and technical tests will be held Feb. 12 in a gymnasium in Kanagawa Prefecture and Feb. 13 in Osaka Prefecture, and those who pass the first round of the tryouts will go through another round of tests in May before the distribution draft in June.

The inaugural season is set to open in November 2005.

It has yet to be decided whether roster players of the Niigata Albirex and Saitama Broncos, which will withdraw from the amateur-based Japan Basketball League organization, will be obliged to take part in the draft although all players must go through the tryouts before signing with a team.

The minimum salary for a player is expected to be 3 million yen.

The league also includes four new teams — the Sendai 89ers, Tokyo Apache, Osaka Deinonychus and Oita HeatDevils.

It will feature a U.S.-style management system for professional sports with the introduction of salary caps, trades and amateur drafts.

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