“SoftBank Winter Cup 2020 Reiwa 2nd Year 73rd National High School Basketball Championship” to be held in Tokyo from December 23rd to 29th. Since the Inter-High and National Athletic Meet have been canceled this year, the Winter Cup will be the first and last national competition. In Basketball King, we will pick up and introduce the teams to watch in the tournament that decides the best in Japan in winter.
Winter Cup Men’s Featured School (6) Kaishi Kokusai High School (Niigata Prefecture)
Kaishi Kokusai has defeated rival Teikyo Nagaoka High School in the prefecture by a large margin of 84-53 and decided to participate in the Winter Cup for the third consecutive year. He showed high scoring ability to attack from anywhere inside and outside, including 10 3P shots. At the time of the rookie match, international student Okoye Peter Jr. was injured and the team strength was not perfect, but now that the pillars of the inside have returned, it is showing rapid growth.
The core of the team is Ace Jones Daisho. He has gained experience in games as a mainstay since he was in the first grade, and has explosive power with a highly probable jump shot and one-on-one weapons. This year, he expanded his range of play by acting as a point guard.
However, Jones tended to hold the ball for a long time and attack, which had the problem of slowing down the deployment. Therefore, Fumitaka Ishihara, a point guard who played a role in changing the flow with speedy development, was selected as a starting lineup. The mobility came out when Jones and Ishihara were able to share the ball flexibly. The three guards of Ishihara, Jones, and Uchida, including Takato Uchida, a second-year student who has been a starting lineup for the team, are giving the team momentum.
The opportunity to change the member composition was an exchange event hosted by the local Tainai City Basketball Federation in early October. By playing against strong schools such as Fukuoka Daiichi (Fukuoka) and Higashiyama (Kyoto), the issues became clear. Since there are few official games such as inter-school athletic meet, prefectural qualifying, and block tournament this year, the match with the strong team gave a big awareness.
Also happy for Kaishi Kokusai is the return of Inside Okoe Peter Jr., who had had an ankle injury for about a year and a half. He is good at playing and block shots that make the most of his outstanding physical ability. It is encouraging that he is full of motivation to play the game because he has not been able to play the game for a long time.
“The team has improved steadily since the final of the Winter Cup qualifying, and it has become an interesting team that can score points from anywhere. We aim to reach the top as a challenger,” said Hideki Togashi.
Kaishi Kokusai has a double captain system this year as well. Captain Ishihara is enthusiastic, “I want to show a strong place in winter,” and another captain, Kazuma Kobata, also shows motivation, “I and Ishihara will pull.” Armed with the mobility of 3 guards and the powerful harmony of the inside, Kaishi Kokusai aims to be the best in Japan.