Japan to face Senegal in warmup


announced Thursday that the Japan national team will take on Senegal on Aug. 13 in the Kirin International Basketball 2006 as the final warmup game for this summer’s FIBA World Championship in Japan.

A JABBA executive Takeshi Ishikawa said at a Tokyo news conference that three Kirin Cup games (July 19-22) against Lebanon would be the last games before the Worlds, but the Senegal game, which will be played at Urayasu athletic gymnasium in Chiba Pref., has been added to give more time for the Zeljko Pavlicevic-led Japan team to prepare for the Aug. 19-Sep. 3 tournament.

“We wanted to play an African team before the tournament,” Pavlicevic said. “Hopefully, we get some momentum through the four games.” Japan is in Group B with Angola in Hiroshima.

Senegal is in Group D in Sapporo. “Senegal is a team that always competes with Angola in the African continent,” he said.

The Japan squad held a monthlong training camp from June 4-July 3 in Croatia, Spain and Italy, playing seven friendlies, and Pavlicevic said the camp went successfully. (Kaz Nagatsuka)