Cohey Aoki made a dazzling return to the starting lineup on Friday night, scoring a game-high 30 points to lead the Tokyo Apache to a 103-84 victory over the host Sendai 89ers.
Aoki, a point guard, also dished out 12 assists (he had nine by halftime) and grabbed five rebounds in his first start since last season.
Center Nick Davis had 17 points and 18 rebounds, Lee Jung Jun added 19 points, John Humphrey chipped in with 14 and Dameion Baker had 11 as Tokyo improved to 3-0. For Sendai, Ryan Blackwell scored a team-best 27 points, Bobby St. Preux added 20 and Hikaru Kusaka had nine assists.
In other bj-league action, the host Ryukyu Golden Kings edged the Saitama Broncos 60-58, improving to 2-1 in their inaugural season.
Guard Naoto Takushi had 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds and Danny Jones scored 10, while Kevin Steenberge had an eight-point, 12-rebound outing. For Saitama (0-3), Gordon James led the way with 18 points and 20 rebounds, Kazuhiro Shoji scored 13 and Taishiro Shimizu, who played despite a broken bone in his eye socket, scored six.