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Yuta Watanabe celebrates Japan making the Olympics

Via @wacchi1013/ X

Yuta Watanabe rightfully celebrated Japan’s first non-automatic Olympic bid since 1976 after the country’s victory over Cape Verde.

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“This means a lot to us,” Watanabe said in a postgame interview. “It’s the first time in 48 years (we got a non-automatic bid for the Olympics). We made history. This is the first time we beat a European team in the World Cup. I believe this is the first time we won three games in the World Cup, so this means a lot to us. I’m very proud of us.”

Watanabe had five points and 10 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes in today’s victory. Throughout the tournament, he averaged 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds across Japan’s five games in the FIBA World Cup.

Read more about the victory here:

Yuta Watanabe helps Japan qualify for the Olympics

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Brendan Mau is a Phoenix Suns insider and college sports reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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