Matthew Aquino

Matthew Aquino could see action for the first time as a member of the Japanese national team after being named to the 12-man lineup for its game against Taiwan on Saturday, Feb. 26,

The Japanese Basketball Association listed the 6-foot-9 Aquino as eligible to play for the 11:05 a.m. Philippine time affair at the Okinawa Arena where games in Group B are taking place.

Other notable players that will suit up for the match are Yuki Togashi, Isaiah Murphy and Avi Schafer.

Aquino, whose Japanese lineage traces to his maternal grandmother, has yet to play for the Akatsukl Five since being named to the pool in the first window last November.

He was also included in Japan’s pool for the Asian Games that will be played later this year in Hangzhou, China.

But his inclusion for the Taiwan contest has raised hopes that the 25-year-old local player for B.League side Shinshu Brave Warriors can finally get a first taste of international basketball.

Japan returns to action after losing its first two matches, all against China, during the November window in Sendai.

Also slated for the Akatsuki Five is a game against Australia on Sunday, also in Okinawa.

Source: Manila Bulletin (