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If anything, Wednesday afternoon’s Chiba Jets-Levanga Hokkaido contest was a small step forward for Japanese basketball.

After all, it represented the first Japan Basketball Association-sanctioned game between a bj-league club (the expansion Jets) and the old-guard, established JBL (Levanga). That it took place during the All-Japan National Championship, aka the 87th Emperor’s Cup, at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2 gave it the spotlight it deserved.

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