TOKYO, Japan (4th FIBA Asia Cup): The Takeuchi twins are a rarity – that they are among the few twins who have donned the colors of a National Team. The Takeuchi twins are also a rage in Japan – having shouldered the responsibility of leading the Hayabusa playing together all the international events from the day they made their debut at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
Just when they looked inseparable – like they were born some 27 summers ago – as Japan prepared to host the 4th FIBA Asia Cup, came the shocking news that one of them – Joji – will not be available laid low by ankle injury. That left Kosuke to not only carry on the Takeuchi clan’s flag but also to a large extent the fortunes of the Japanese team on his own.
Credit to him that so far in the two games Japan have played, and won, Kosuke Takeuchi has managed to hold his own, and his team, leading them to creditable victories.
“Of course I miss him,” Kosuke, who plays for the Aishin Sea Horses in the JBL said. Joji plays for the Hitachi Sun Rockers.
“On the court, his presence would have relieved a lot of pressure in the rebounds. It’s not that he is indispensable, but for sure his presence would have made me a lot more comfortable,” Kosuke said.
“But more than that it’s like I’m playing with half my soul away,” he said about his twin who is rehab at the Ajinomoto National Training Center, not too far from here.
“Yes, we are in touch. And he’s missing being here as much I am,” Kosuke said.
Talking of the team’s prospects in the competition, “we do have a good team. It’s a good mix of youth and experience.”
“We have had some tough games on the first two days. And we have done well to hold our own against experienced opposition. I am really hopeful of a good result,” he signed off.
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia