MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Plans for the start of the Basketball World Cup in Okinawa, Japan, were unaffected Thursday after a North Korean rocket launch prompted an alert ordering some residents to evacuate.
Press conferences and practices for the eight teams that are beginning World Cup play in Okinawa went on as scheduled Thursday. The tournament begins Friday, also in the Philippines and Indonesia. There were no reports of damage.
“It was a little scary,” Slovenia star Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks said Thursday when asked what it was like to experience the alert, which went out shortly before 4 a.m. local time.
“I didn't sleep much,” Doncic added.
Along with Slovenia, the other nations playing group-stage World Cup games in Okinawa starting Friday are Finland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Cape Verde, Georgia and Venezuela.
North Korea confirmed after the early morning launch Thursday that it was an unsuccessful second attempt to launch a spy satellite. Japanese officials said parts of the rocket fell into the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
“It was crazy,” Doncic said.