No team ever wants to be embarrassed on its home court.
After a 34-point loss on Saturday, the Saitama Broncos regrouped when it mattered most. They overcame a large fourth-quarter deficit and defeated the Niigata Albirex BB 94-89 in overtime at Tokorozawa Municipal Gymnasium.
Mario Jointer paced the Broncos with 27 points, with many of his important baskets coming in the fourth quarter and OT.
Niigata (14-14) led 62-48 entering the fourth quarter. Saitama coach Masato Fukushima quickly chipped away at the lead, using a 22-8 run to tie it at 70-70 on Jointer’s two free throws with 2:07 to play in the fourth.
Tyrone Levett buried a 3-pointer to give the Albirex a 73-70 lead at the 1:44 mark.
Jointer’s 3-pointer made it 73-73 with 1:25 left in the fourth to force OT.
The veteran guard hit another 3 for the first points of the bonus period to give Saitama a 76-73 lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Terrence Roberts added 18 points and eight boards for the Broncos, who improved to 11-15. Kwbana Beckles had nine points and 12 rebounds, Yuki Kitamuki scored 13, Daiki Terashita had nine and Kazuya Hatano added eight.
For Niigata, Levett finished with a team-best 27 points with 10 rebounds, Yuichi Ikeda scored 17, Akitomo Takeno had 14 and Uche Echefu posted a double-double (14 points, 13 boards).
Elsewhere in the bj-league, the visiting Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix rolled to a 90-54 win over the Oita HeatDevils to secure a series split.
The Phoenix (22-6) outscored the hosts 41-14 in the second and fourth quarters.
Wendell White had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the cakewalk victory. Hamamatsu newcomer Wayne Arnold, making his second appearance for the team, had 19 points, Johann Collins and Jermaine Green scored 16 apiece and Masahiro Oguchi added 10.
Mike Bell and Ricky Woods led the HeatDevils (13-17) with 17 points apiece.
The Rizing Fukuoka, meanwhile, put 30 points on the board in the fourth quarter en route to a 96-87 triumph over the host Ryukyu Golden Kings.
Fukuoka (19-11 overall) improved to 11-5 on the road and earned a series split. Richard Ford Jr. scored a team-best 26 points for the Rizing, while Michael Parker had 19 points and crashed the boards to haul in 15 rebounds and Marlyn Bryant contributed 14 points. Center Sylvester Morgan, a Georgia State product, had 11 points and five rebounds in his second game since joining Fukuoka, but fouled out in 14 minutes. The same thing happened on Saturday in the same amount of time.
Anthony McHenry had a 19-point, seven-rebound, six-assist effort for the Golden Kings (20-10). Tsubasa Yonamine scored 18, George Leach added 17 points and 10 boards and Bryan Simpson also had a 17-point outing against the Western Conference’s No. 2 team.
Ryukyu and Fukuoka are 2-2 against each other this season.
Makoto Kato’s 20-point performance and Kirby Lemons’ 18-point, 12-rebound effort guided the Toyama Grouses to a 71-69 home win over the Kyoto Hannaryz.
Takeshi Mito poured in 15 points and Brandon Thomas collected 14 rebounds for Toyama (12-14).
Kyoto dropped to 11-17 after its second loss in as many days.
Josh Bostic finished with 27 points to lead the Hannaryz. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 19 and Naoto Takushi had nine points and four assists. John Clifford grabbed 14 boards in the loss.
Four Osaka Evessa players scored in double figures in an 82-66 road win over the Shiga Lakestars.
Lynn Washington (22 points, 11 boards), David Palmer (21), Nile Murray (14) and Ryan Blackwell (11) provided a balanced offensive attack for the Evessa (14-14). Hirohisa Takada chipped in with an eight-point afternoon.
For the Lakestars (15-17), who lost both games over the weekend, Ray Schafer was the top scorer with 19 points. Masashi Joho had 10 points and Luke Zeller and Takamichi Fujiwara both scored nine. Zeller also pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds.
Note: The Tokyo Apache (7-17 overall, 1-9 at home) play host to the Sendai 89ers (16-10) on Monday and Tuesday at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.