Koga's interview from Nishi Nippon https://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nsp/item/n/922713/
Koga wants a more united team in order to have a shot at winning a medal. But I strongly disagree with her outlook.
She also said of the Japan national team, "There is a limit to how much you can do with just the players on the court. It's important for the entire team to face the same direction. However, a truly strong team has a relationship in which they can say what they feel and what they want to see done. They don't have to be good friends."
A team with merely good players is not a "real team" nor does it count as strong. Forming a bond is absolutely critical. Which is what makes the men's team united because Yuki Ishikawa as the captain values friendship and sees relationships extremely valuable. I sense none of that in what Koga said. Her statement sounds very cold, detached and just indifferent. The London and Rio squads have all formed longlasting friendships. I believe this is also a factor as to why USA and Brazil are unstoppable. They form true bonds with each other so the players know each others strengths and weaknesses and who they work better with. It's always different from a players pov and a coach's pov. There are things that only the players themselves are able to observe.
Quite disappointed with her statements so far. Not a very mature thought process of someone who is leading a team.
I don't think Koga is close to Mayu. I have actually never seen them interact with each other as in really interact not just on the court where they have to make signals. Koga is closest to Ishii and now she's gone. She's so much closer to Ishii Nagaoka and Shinnabe than the Toray duos. She may also be referencing past experience when Nakada made it a priority for her to support Kurogo. Idk there is a murky line between friendship and simply being teammates. But I agree that it's not a very healthy one.