• The Japan Times

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Akita Northern Happinets guard/playing manager Makoto Hasegawa will serve as the team’s head coach on Saturday against the visiting Takamatsu Five Arrows.

Coach Bob Pierce received a one-game suspension by the bj-league on Thursday for making comments critical of officiating after the Happinets-Ryukyu Golden Kings game on Sunday.

The 40-year-old Hasegawa, a native of Akita Prefecture, will be making his official coaching debut, though his role as a mentor to the team’s young players and as the face of the franchise thrust him into the spotlight when he left the Niigata Albirex BB after last season and joined the expansion team.

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