Byu Nakamura’s hopes for a breakthrough in Japan may hinge on whether his team can keep pace with the men’s national team in the men in gold medal game.
Japan will play host to the final of the FIBA Asian Basketball Championships in Tokyo on Friday (local time).
It is the first time the country has hosted the Olympics, but in a season of global sporting upheaval the nation has remained focused on its preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In his final two games of the regular season, Japan has won three straight, defeating Turkey and Argentina.
But it is the men, who beat France on Friday, who are now the favourites for the title.
Japan has won its past three games against Turkey and won in the first two games against Argentina, which are the two teams with the most medals at the tournament.
“We want to get there,” Nakamura told reporters.
“It’s been three weeks.
I’m very happy about that.”
A win against the favourites would make it one of the strongest nations in the world, and it would be the first for Japan at the World Cup.
But the country is yet to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and the Japanese Basketball Association (JBA) is keen to win the championship.
“Japan will go for the gold medal.
We know what it takes to win this,” Nakamara said.”
It will be a hard task for us but we know what we need to do.”
Japan has played two games in the last three days, against Turkey, Argentina and France.
It was not immediately clear how long they would play in the second leg of the final on Friday.