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Basketball: Japan without American head coach Hovasse for Tehran game

This combined photo shows, from left, Japan's men's national basketball team head coach Tom Hovasse and coaches Corey Gaines and Norio Sassa. (Photo courtesy of Japan Basketball Association/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japan Basketball Association said Monday it will not send Japan national team's American head coach Tom Hovasse and coach Corey Gaines to Iran for their World Cup Asian second-round qualifier in Tehran on Aug. 25.

    The JBA cited the U.S. government's ban on travel to Iran, among other reasons, in taking the decision. Its secretary general Yasuo Hamatake stated that it has "judged it is difficult to guarantee their 100 percent safety."

    Coach Norio Sassa will stand in for the head coach role at the Iran game, said the JBA.

    Hovasse coached Japan's women to Olympic silver last summer. Japan will co-host the men's World Cup next year with Indonesia and the Philippines.

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