Scored 15 points: “My role is to support the team when they are in difficulty.”
At the 2022 Women’s World Cup, Japan’s basketball team will face European powerhouse Serbia in the second game. After giving a wide 9-24 lead in the first quarter without being able to get into the rhythm both in attack and defense, they gradually made up for it, but they couldn’t bring it up to Japan’s pace all the way and lost 64-69. Japan now has 1 win and 1 loss in the group stage.
In this game, Japan fell prey to Serbia’s skillful control of the game and ended up failing to develop their signature fast-paced basketball. Captain Maki Takada thus sees the cause of the defeat.
“The defensive part that says ‘let’s defend like this’ didn’t go very well, and in the end I got hit while passing the ball well. At the end of the pass, there was a space under the goal , and the shooter was left open. After all, if we don’t play defense it won’t lead to a good offense, so that’s what makes it a game like this. I think it’s is what caused it.
In contrast, Takada scored 15 points, managing 5 of 7 field goals. Takada continued to score jumps with high probability, and Japan was able to hang on until the end. He says he is very aware of aiming for a shot when the team is in trouble. “Some players struggle to shoot, and my role is to keep scoring points in those situations. It’s also my role to support the team when they’re struggling, so I’ll continue to do that as my job. I was
“When things aren’t going well, there are instances where you try to do too much on your own and you end up with some setbacks.”
Serbia’s commander is Marina Markovic, who managed Denso Iris of the W League, to which Takada belongs, until last season. Marina, who is familiar with the characteristics of Japanese players, said Takada: “It’s okay, I think it’s our problem.” He stressed that the aspect of self-destruction was important. “If the opponent came with this kind of defense, I would give this kind of option all the time in this training camp.
In addition, following the match against Mali the day before, he analyzed the point that the score did not increase at the start of the match. “There were instances in the last two games where we didn’t get a 3-point shot, and when things didn’t go well, we tried too hard to drive and ended up make a turnover. I think it’s going to be important to break it.”
“However, if you go passive at that point, you won’t be able to make any shots. I think, so I want to cover that with the team.”
Takada, who spoke about the challenges above, said: “However, the fact that we were able to come back after losing with a double score in the first half gave us confidence.” Looking ahead, he said: “It’s not a tournament (if you lose it’s over), and I want to go through the group stage in a better position.
Japan will have a non-game rest day tomorrow, and from there they will have a tough schedule with Canada, France and Australia for three days in a row. The World Cup is only in its infancy. For the team to grow on the strength of this loss, Takada’s leadership and outstanding play with a sense of stability is key.