LA Sparks Announce Exhibitions With Olympic Hopefuls China, Japan

There's basketball watching on the Japanese women's schedule, too. The team attend the NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center April 25. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Two Asian women's basketball teams will be making appearances in the United States in the month of May, facing off against the United States National Team and touring around the WNBA Western Conference.

The Chinese National Team will start their tour on the Western Seaboard on May 5th as they face off with the Los Angeles Sparks at Pasadena City College, announced yesterday. After that contest, China will head up to Seattle to play the US National Team on May 12th at Key Arena. [Tickets]

China is one of seven teams that have already earned a place in the field at the London 2012 Olympic Games after winning the FIBA Asia gold medal. The US holds a 25-1 overall record against China in various major tournaments, since 1977. The sole blemish to the Americans' record in major tournaments was at the 1993 World University Games.

Japan, who has not yet qualified for Olympic competition, will also be traveling to the West Coast to play games against US competition as preparation for qualifying. The Japanese National Team has currently scheduled three games with top US competition and are slated to play the Mercury on May 8th in Phoenix.

Japan will then scrimmage the US National Team on May 13 on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. The US has a 14-2 advantage over Japan in major international events. The scrimmage is closed to the public. Following their trip to Seattle, the Japanese squad will head to Los Angeles to face the Sparks on May 10th at LA Southwest College.

Japan will be vying for one of the five remaining spots in the field during the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament June 25-July 1 in Ankara, Turkey. Japan will be one of 12 teams competing in the tournament.

As previously announced by USA Basketball, the US National Team has scheduled a game on July 16 with Brazil in Washington, D.C. Their next pre-Olympic foe will be Great Britain in Manchester, England on July 18 and will be followed by a four-team tournament in Turkey for their final Olympic tune-up.

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