Tabuse chooses summer league over playing for Japan

Updated: May 2, 2006, 11:50 AM ET

TOKYO -- Japanese point guard Yuta Tabuse said on Tuesday he had chosen the NBA over playing in the world championships in his home country.

Tabuse became the first Japanese to appear in the National Basketball Association when he played four games for the Phoenix Suns at the start of the 2004-05 season.

His absence from the world championships in August and September is a major blow for hosts Japan but Tabuse said he was determined to play in the NBA's summer league.

"My aim is to get back into the NBA. I think the summer league is the best way to do that," Tabuse told reporters. "I wish Japan all the best at the world championships."

The world championships take place in five cities across Japan from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3.

Tabuse averaged 1.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in just over four minutes a game with the Suns before being waived.

The 25-year-old was released by the Los Angeles Clippers before the start of the current NBA season.

"The wall has been getting higher every year but that makes it more of a challenge," Tabuse said.