TOKYO (FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2017) - Japan are looking forward to returning to the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup and will put their faith in the players who finished second at the FIBA Asia U18 Women's Championship 2016.
Japan have been drawn against Australia and Hungary, with their third Group D opponent a team from the Americas to be confirmed by FIBA.
"We are planning to have several camps and there should be some game trips to Europe before the main tournament," said head coach, Mikiko Hagiwara. "Basically, the members from [last year's] U18 team are mostly on our list, but there still might be some changes as we will be conducting some tryouts. We will do whatever we can in order to be best prepared for the big games."
"It isn't much of a factor for us which group we are in, since we will work to do our best whoever we play against. It's always hard for any team with shorter players like us to beat any team of taller players in any international game. But, we have a chance to beat other teams because of the way we can play [ourselves]."
It will be difficult for Japan to revive the high-tide mark of the 7th-place finished achieved in 2011 in Chile, with Hagiwara adding: "There was Sanae Motokawa and Rui Machida, to name a few, in Chile. They are players who were gathered as national players in Rio [at the Olympics]. They played so hard back then in Chile and our goal is to always go beyond the past and whatever the historical accomplishment was."