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St. Preux, Davis win March honors

by Ed Odeven

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’

— Michael Jordan

Bobby St. Preux emulates MJ’s mental approach on the basketball court.

He is a pure scorer with a super ability to bounce back after a subpar offensive outing. In other words, he wants to take the shot.

Exhibit A: On March 16, the Sendai 89ers forward tied his season-low effort with eight points in a seven-point loss to the Oita HeatDevils.

In Sendai’s next game on March 22, St. Preux torched the Broncos, matching a season-high output (36 points, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range).

St. Preux has helped ignite his team at a critical stage of the season. The 89ers have won four straight games and enter the weekend with a 28-12 record, tied for the top spot in the league with the Osaka Evessa.

St. Preux, who was born in Haiti, is The Japan Times’ Offensive Player of the Month for March. He scored 20 or more points in seven games in the month as Sendai posted a 6-4 record.

Furthermore, St. Preux possesses the athleticism and offensive skill set to earn repeated trips to the charity stripe.

Just ask the Niigata Albirex BB. St. Preux made 13 of 15 foul shots on March 29, leading the 89ers to a 91-80 home win.

DEFENSIVE WINNER: Tokyo Apache center Nick Davis is the Defensive Player of the Month for March.

A mainstay in the middle for Tokyo coach Joe Bryant, Davis has helped the Apache rebuild into a playoff-caliber unit after finishing with a league-worst 12-28 record last season.

Davis and the Apache are 23-17 entering this weekend’s series against the host Ryukyu Golden Kings, including an 8-2 record in March.

Davis, who played for the Albirex last season, is second in the bj-league in blocked shots (3.1 per game) and is No. 3 in rebounds (12.7).

Perhaps the best example of his value to Tokyo on the defensive end can be found by glancing at the numbers from March 9. In that game, Davis’ offensive output was below average (four points, 2-for-8 from the field; he averages 15.9 per game), but he still made a big impact for the Apache: 17 rebounds (13 defensive boards) and four blocks in an 89-80 win over the Rizing Fukuoka.