Japan falls to 0-2 in William Jones Cup

Togashi leads team in scoring in both defeats

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Japan men’s national basketball team dropped its first two games at the 36th annual William Jones Cup tournament in Taipei over the weekend.

On Sunday, Iran put on a rebounding clinic (65-22 edge) and defeated Japan 79-72 in overtime.

NBA hopeful Yuki Togashi led Japan with 16 points and five assists. He shot 2-for-7 from 3-point range and 4-for-6 from inside the arc while converting both of his free-throw attempts. The 167-cm guard added four rebounds and a pair of steals in 35-plus minutes.

Iran had 33 offensive rebounds and held Japan to five.

The Taiwan A squad beat Japan 88-77 on Saturday. Yang Chin-min paced the hosts with 27 points and buried 5 of 11 3s, and also converted 6 of 7 2-point shots. Teammate Liu Cheng poured in 14 points. (Taiwan entered a “B” team in the tournament, too.)

Togashi scored a team-best 14 points on 4-for-11 shooting from the field with five assists for Japan. He had two steals and played a team-high 27-plus minutes.

The 21-year-old Togashi spent the past two seasons with the bj-league’s Akita Northern Happinets, and led the league in assists (7.9 per game) for the 2013-14 season. He played for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League last month.

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