Isaac
Earlier this month

Bullets sign Japanese national team player Makoto Hiejima

On June 29 Andrej Lemanis' Australian Boomers lost their first game in 2 years, a 1-point loss to Japan. Lemanis didn’t know it at the time but one of the architects of that defeat would soon be joining him as part of the reshaped Brisbane Bullets roster for #NBL19.

Makoto Hiejima, the starting shooting guard for Japan and the reigning MVP of Japan’s B League national competition, reached out to Lemanis through former Townsville Crocs coach Shawn Dennis, now coaching in Japan. Hiejima wanted to challenge himself and his game, and he wanted to do it with Lemanis in Brisbane.

In a landmark signing for the club, the 27-year-old Hiejima will join Brisbane under the NBL’s Asian Player rule and be classified as a local player on the Bullet’s roster. Makoto has spent five years with the Afshin Sea Horses in the B League, leading them to the regular season title in 2017-18 before bowing out in the semi-finals.
Hiejima’s signing leaves one remaining roster position for the Bullets, which will be filled with an import small forward.

With both Lemanis and CJ Bruton attending Summer League to see potential player’s in action first hand that search is well under way, although the club is not going to rush the process.
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LV  
Earlier this month

Sleeper signing.

Given he was MVP, he should be decent.

There's always at least one team who "overachieves"; the Hawks, led by Bevo are always a prime candidate but this signing improves the way the Bullets are shaping up.

Reply #699122 | Report this post


Hogwash  
Earlier this month

Along with Holt that's a handy bench backcourt

Reply #699124 | Report this post


Locke  
Earlier this month

This should be the clincher in the battle for the spoon between Cairns and Brisbane.

Reply #699125 | Report this post


Anony  
Earlier this month

I thought Koberulz said there was no Asian Player rule anymore :|

Reply #699127 | Report this post


Andrew  
Earlier this month

This is actually a nice signing.
The Bullets have some nice depth in their guard rotation.
They will also have an import up their sleeve as an injury replacement.

Cadee / Gibson
Gliddon / *Holt / Hiejima
*Import / Te Rangi
Bairstow / Vukona
Hodgson / Magnay

Reply #699128 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I like the move. Seems a handy player. Also a big marketing opportunity for the league and Bullets having a relatively high profile Japanese player come here. I also remember someone on here mentioned Japan and Queensland have lots of direct flights available? Could try put together some packages for people from Japan to come over and go to games.

I wonder what his salary is and if he's taken a big pay cut to try prove himself in a bigger/better league? I'm assuming being MVP he was on a high salary in the Japanese local league and wouldn't be getting too much being a bench player in the NBL.

Reply #699133 | Report this post


paul  
Earlier this month

Nice player, really good mid-range game, bit unorthodox but knows how to finish. How he handles the speed and physicality of the NBL will be the big questions, but offensively can play.

Reply #699134 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Koberulez knows all dem rulez.

Reply #699142 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

So at first I thought LK has realised China isn't going to work let's try Japan. However this was triggered by the player himself? LOL...

and Lemanis does nothing as the player did the leg work and it falls into his lap. However not sure how Japanese league quality will transition to NBL but will be interesting to finally see.

Reply #699145 | Report this post


koberulz  
Earlier this month

I thought Koberulz said there was no Asian Player rule anymore :|
Koberulez knows all dem rulez.
It's the designated markets rule. They're presumably calling it the Asian Player rule simply out of habit, but it's not the same rule.

Reply #699152 | Report this post


johnnysack  
Earlier this month

Great news. I thought it was about time he had a crack at a higher-level foreign league - i was disappointed when he re-signed in Japan this off-season. Great that he had an out-clause.

He's my favorite player in the local Japanese comp.

The thing that stucks out about him is his craftiness - he can score in so many often unorthodox ways. Very intellingent baller.

You guys are gonna love him.

Reply #699168 | Report this post


Curtley  
Earlier this month

NBL should aim to recruit the top 5-6 Asian players in the world. Satnam Singh and Li Jianliang would be nice provided they could be recruited outside of salary cap and payed predominantly by another party.

Reply #699171 | Report this post


Neb  
Earlier this month

Whatever you reckon Locke. Illawarra and Cairns will be the ones fighting it out for the wooden spoon.

Brisbane will be pushing for a playoff berth, especially if they end up signing Conger (providing they don't find anyone better).

Reply #699177 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

So Neb I guess you're looking forward to Locke's Brisbane Bullets part whatever team ratings thread.

Reply #699186 | Report this post


KB  
Earlier this month

The Asian Player rule was modified to say you had to be born in that country so no more Tai Wesley situations going forward.

Reply #699189 | Report this post


Anony  
Earlier this month

So Kobe the NBL is wrong?

Reply #699197 | Report this post


Neb  
Earlier this month

Yeah, I am looking forward to it.

Reply #699208 | Report this post


Johnno  
Earlier this month

You can sign unlimited Asian players and they are not classed as imports I believe(could be wrong)

Reply #699224 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I think its only a max of 1

Reply #699229 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I'm intrigued to see how much court time he gets. Definitely don't see him starting, but surely he hasn't come over to be the 11th man either.

Reply #699248 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Pipe dream on Conger Neb baha. No knowledge at all.

Reply #699260 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Neb you dumb idiot their roster is at 11 players. Lol

Reply #699262 | Report this post


AD  
Earlier this month

"The Asian Player rule was modified to say you had to be born in that country so no more Tai Wesley situations going forward. "

No, no it wasn't.

The Asian Player rule, which actually previously applied to FIBA's Asian and Oceania zones, was restricted to a handful of countries, deemed to be those where the NBL is hopeful of developing cooperation. Off the top of my head: India, China, Japan, South Korea, Philipines, maybe a couple more, possibly Singapore.

Reply #699263 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

You can remove Philippines from that list.

Reply #699276 | Report this post


KB  
Earlier this month

AD, Um yes it was

You used to be able to be a passport holder of an Asian country and qualify now you have to actually have been born in that country to be signed under the rule.

Wesley has had to receive special NBL dispensation for his situation to continue to play in the NBL as a local until he gets NZ/ Aussie citizenship.

Blatche would have qualified previously but now doesn't.

Earnest Ross would qualify as he was born in Guam.

Singh last year for the Kings was used this way.

Reply #699283 | Report this post


Reality  
Earlier this month

Watch this space on the new Brisbane owners......

Reply #699288 | Report this post


Neb  
Earlier this month

Anon #262 - Brisbane have 10 players locked up with 1 roster spot to go (import SF).....learn to count!

Reply #699292 | Report this post


Neb  
Earlier this month

Anon #260 - No knowledge at all? Good one! It is far from a pipe dream.

He has been in talks with Brisbane, but Drej and CJ are seeing what they can find over in the US first.

Reply #699293 | Report this post


Hogwash  
Earlier this month

Drej . haha.

Reply #699303 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Neb. Youre a knob. There is 0 chance of Conger. 0. Get a grip.

Reply #699305 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Conger wants half a million dollars. Why do you think Perth, Hawks and Melb bailed on him.

Reply #699306 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

36ers should get Pogoy

Reply #699311 | Report this post


AD  
Earlier this month

Nope, sorry KB, you're wrong.

The rule you are referring to nolonger applies.
The issue with Wesley has nothing to do with whether or not he was born in Guam.

As I said, the eligible countries has been restricted to a small list, approved by the NBL. Guam is not on that list so neither Wesley or Ross would qualify.

I don't know if there are any further restrictions. The goal is to encourage cooperation with those target nations' leagues, so it may be that you need to actually have played there?? eg If an Indian moved to the US when he was two and came up through the US School and College system, not sure that signing him would meet the aims of this rule?

Reply #699338 | Report this post


AD  
Earlier this month

"You can remove Philippines from that list."

LOL

Could certainly generate some publicity if we signed one of their national players?

What about that young guy that protected Goulding? That would be good PR.

Reply #699339 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Can Nick Fazekas American born who plays for Japan, play in the NBL he would be a great backup for any team

Reply #699344 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I don't think plus also the guy is shot (can't jump anymore).

Reply #699346 | Report this post


johnnysack  
Earlier this month

For a guy who is shot, he (Fazekas) sure helped do a number on the Boomers last month. I'll admit it hurts just watching him shuffle up and down the court - but he constantly defies expectations when he's on court. Any import big that opposition teams here in Japan throw at him - he finds a way to outsmart. The fact that he can play at such a high level considering his mobility issues is freakish.

He'd be a decent third import in OZ. But he's on serious coin and in a great situation here in Japan, why would he bother.

Reply #699356 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

I think he'd get exposed pretty badly at the defensive end here. NBL teams are very good at scouting players and going at their weaknesses.

Reply #699357 | Report this post


johnnysack  
Earlier this month

Fair enough. Depending on roster make up, that can be overcome.

Don't fall into the trap of throw him into the 'Big White Stiff' basket though - he's anything but.

Reply #699358 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this month

Can play, no doubt. He could be effective in a one-off game against NBL teams, I just think over a season he would get targeted pretty relentlessly on D. The NBL is a league where mobility is keen as there is not only speed up and down the court, but high speed of ball and player movement in the half-court, it makes it hard for the 'true bigs'.

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