TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rakuten Group, Inc. and the All Japan University Basketball Federation (JUBF) today announced the launch of Sun Chlorella’s World University Basketball Series (WUBS), an annual champions league-style tournament for university basketball teams. The inaugural tournament will host top university teams from Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and Taiwan at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo from August 9-11, 2022.
Hosted by JUBF and supported by Rakuten Sports, a Rakuten Group service focused on creating partnerships built on shared values with professional sports teams, athletes, brands and rights-holders around the world, WUBS is envisioned to empower local talent and the basketball community. The tournament gives collegiate players and teams a platform to showcase their skill on an international stage. By bringing together university teams to compete each year for the series title, the two organizations aim to take university basketball to new heights and bring the global basketball community closer together.
Tickets for the games are now available for purchase on this dedicated page.
The first edition is an invitation-only event featuring four top university teams: Pelita Harapan University (UPH) from Indonesia, Tokai University from Japan, Ateneo de Manila University from Philippines and National Chengchi University (NCCU) from Taiwan. The teams will compete in a series of six round-robin games over three days to claim the series championship. Future plans call for expansion in the number of participating teams and countries each year.
Naoki Hayashi, JUBF Chairman and President of the World University Basketball Series Organizing Committee, commented, “We are delighted to announce the new World University Basketball Series. We have invited four top universities from across Asia – including Japan – to join us here in Tokyo for this international tournament. It is my great hope that through WUBS, university basketball will continue to grow and reach greater heights in each country and region and that many deep and lasting friendships will be formed among participants. We hope that fans from across the basketball community will come to the venue and cheer on the teams."
Futoshi Nakayama, President & CEO of Sun Chlorella, commented, "It is an honor to partner with the World University Basketball Series in its inaugural edition. I'm thrilled that we can have this tournament this fall, and it’s been amazing to watch the preparations come together so well. As a partner company, Sun Chlorella will do everything we can to make WUBS a smashing success. I look forward to meeting all the teams and university staff from Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan here in Japan!"
Stephen L. Metcalfe, Pelita Harapan University Head Coach, commented, “We are happy for our students to have this opportunity, coming out of the pandemic. Traveling, playing basketball, representing UPH and Indonesia as the Champions of LIMA is a great privilege. To compete against university teams from Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines is special. We hope to represent well and enjoy this unique tournament established by WUBS. The creation of an international tournament for university students is an excellent idea – may all who participate find good success.”
Akira Rikukawa, Tokai University Head Coach, commented, “I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting us to the first World University Basketball Series. I am also determined to do my best to live up to the name of the All Japan University Basketball Federation, which has recommended us. I sincerely hope that this tournament will contribute to the development and friendship of university basketball in Asia and around the world.”
Tab Baldwin, Ateneo de Manila University Head Coach, commented, “Ateneo is very excited and proud to be a university selected by WUBS to represent the Philippines in this prestigious event. We believe that the quality of competition and the excellent organization that is always present in Japan will make this event a significant element in our preparation for the upcoming UAAP. The opportunity to experience international competition as well as the cultural experience in Japan will be priceless for our student athletes.”
Chen Tzu-wei, National Chengchi University Head Coach, commented, “We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in the memorable first World University Basketball Series. And we recognize that participation in WUBS will make a significant contribution to the promotion of basketball, sports and culture in Taiwan. It is expected that WUBS will serve as a legacy for university basketball in Taiwan and Japan to be passed on to the next generation.”