ANKARA (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Women) - Having been soundly beaten by Turkey on tournament debut, Japanese star Yuko Oga has admitted to being under serious pressure heading into a winner takes all showdown for a place in the quarter-finals with Puerto Rico.
Japan was firmly second best against the hosts as they went down 65-49 and while it now means there will be no second chances, Oga is ready for the challenge ahead and has no intention of allowing her London dream to implode.
Indeed the national team captain believes her team can deal with the situation in positive fashion and show the improvement required to potentially take second spot and avoid a quick ticket back to Tokyo.
"We have started to feel the pressure" admitted Oga.
"Not just me - all of us now have pressure on our backs but, we still want to go to the Olympics.
"I think that we can transform this pressure into power and turn the situation to our advantage for this next game with Puerto Rico."
It was certainly a difficult first step in the Turkish capital for Oga and she was also quick to express her frustration at the way the team performed in their opening Group A game.
She said, "I am deeply disappointed with today's game and especially that we could not take our play from practice onto the court."
"It is important that we stay together as a team and to keep praying that we will have a good game next time."
This sentiment was loudly echoed by head coach Tomohide Utsumi who added,
“We managed to hold Turkey to 65 points defensively but we only scored 49 points on offence and this is bad.
“That’s why I expect my players to get better offensively.”