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Turning Japanese, I think he's turning Japanese

THERE's a new team in Chiba, starting from scratch so who better to coach Japan's emerging fresh franchise than someone who's already been down that road a few times, Andrej Lemanis?

The man who rebuilt New Zealand Breakers from a basket case into a three-time champion - with a fourth guided by his former assistant Dean Vickerman - has had much the same role with Brisbane Bullets, rejuvenating that program back into the NBL.

Along the journey he also has gone from assistant Boomers coach to head coach at two FIBA World Cups and the Rio Olympics where Australia again achieved its best finish.

He led the Boomers into a Bronze Medal playoff at the last World Cup too, achieving the Boomers' finest finish at that level also.

We first floated the "Lemanis to Japan" speculation here on April 7 when our sources revealed it was a three-year deal:













The Aussie coach also is in line to coach Latvia's national team.

At this week's Brad&Boti podcast with former Sydney Kings captain and media commentator Brad Rosen, we quizzed Shawn Dennis on what he may have heard about the Lemanis speculation.

Dennis, who was Townsville Crocodiles' last head coach, and has been coaching in Japan's elite B-League for five years, revealed it appeared to virtually be an open secret in Japan that the Bullets' mentor would head to the land of the rising sun after this NBL season.

It may go some way toward explaining the Bullets' erratic form this season, although the addition of new import BJ Johnson for their next game may allay that somewhat.

But can someone please give Brisbane the phone numbers for Rob Beveridge, Joey Wright and Paul Henare please? It very much looks like they may need them.

May 4

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