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Despite facing an expected suspension from FIBA, Japan Basketball Association acting president Mitsuru Maruo insisted that the country’s governing body would not stop trying to address and fix its problems, including the unification of the nation’s two men’s top leagues.

Such strong words. But many of Japan’s loyal hoop fans would have wanted to hear that long before, before it was too late — before Friday’s deadline issued by FIBA, basketball’s world governing body, to the JBA for a merger plan to be finalized.

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