The Takamatsu Five Arrows used seven players on Tuesday. The Tokyo Apache had 13 players at their disposal for the opener of their bj-league series.
Depth alone wasn’t the only factor in Tokyo’s 85-72 victory, but it certainly helped as the Apache rebounded in the second half at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2.
“To me that was the most disappointing game of the season,” Apache coach Bob Hill said, pointing to a lackluster first-half effort. “I felt like we are making steady progress in terms of our bench and defense. In the first half tonight we just threw that out the window. We just disregarded everything we had worked on up to that point.
“So at halftime I had to throw furniture, spit and cuss and act like a 2-year-old to get their attention.”
Tokyo outscored Takamatsu 41-18 over the final two periods.
Kendall Dartez’s tomahawk jam gave Tokyo (11-8) an 81-70 lead with 3:13 left to provide a perfect punctuation mark for the Apache’s fourth straight win.
The third-quarter scoring difference — Tokyo 26, Takamatsu 6 — “was basically the game,” Hill noted, adding both teams will be playing their fourth game in five days on Wednesday and both teams will be challenged by the same level of fatigue.
Big man Terrance Farley scored a team-best 20 points on 10-for-10 shooting and Satoshi Takeda scored 17 for the Five Arrows (6-19), who have the fewest wins in the 16-team league.
Five Arrows coach Atsushi Kanazawa said Farley had a strong performance, stepping up his game and playing aggressively.
In the third, Jumpei Nakama, coming off a team-best 20 points on Sunday against Miyazaki, notched a rare four-point play, hitting a fall-away 3-pointer and a free throw at the 8:25 mark. The Apache’s 12-2 run, capped by Byron Eaton’s three-point play, tied it at 56-56.
Nakama, who excels in catch-and-shoot situations, made three 3s in the third as the Apache extended their lead to 70-60 entering the final quarter.
Eaton, whose physique resembles an NFL fullback more than a typical point guard, exhibited strength, quickness and keen court sense in breaking down the defense in the third and converted layups with both hands in the period. He was 5-for-6 from the floor in the third and finished with a game-best 23 points.
Dartez, Nakama and Robert Swift each scored 14 points.
Cohey Aoki drilled a 3-pointer for the game’s first points and the teams were off and running.