Coming off a pair of victories in their first two regular-season games, wins over the two-time defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, the Chiba Jets were fired up to play the first home game in team history on Saturday.
Chiba improved to 3-0 with an 82-80 overtime triumph over the Yokohama B-Corsairs in a showdown of bj-league expansion teams at Funabashi Arena.
Guard Maurice Hargrow paced the Jets with 28 points and five assists and forward Jamel Staten had 25 points and 11 rebounds. Big man Gaston Moliva and Takaki Ishida each scored eight points, while Hiroki Sato and Reina Itakura added five points apiece for Chiba.
It was a tight contest throughout. Tied at 10-10 after one quarter, the Jets took a 33-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The game was tied at 72-72 after four quarters, with the final points coming on Staten’s game-tying 3-pointer with less than a second left in regulation.
Forward Justin Burrell led Yokohama (2-3) with 21 points and nine rebounds. Marcus Simmons had a 16-point effort, Chas McFarland scored eight points and hauled in 13 rebounds and Taketo Aoki added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kenji
Yamada scored 11 points for the B-Corsairs.
“(Yokohama) coach (Reggie) Geary is doing a great job with that team,” Jets coach Eric Gardow told The Japan Times after the game. “What we both have in common is we are trying to teach our guys how to win, and it’s not easy.”
The Jets have had a terrific start and it’s a direct result of strong teamwork and chemistry, Gardow said.
“With that said, we really can play a lot better than we did,” he added. “We missed some assignments defensively tonight and we can shoot a lot better than we have been doing in games.
“Everyone contributed to the win, from our scout team to our bench, and at crucial times of the game players made plays.”
The teams meet again on Sunday. Tipoff is 2 p.m.
Golden Kings 75, Evessa 69
In Osaka, Jeff Newton scored 24 points and hauled in 12 rebounds and four teammates scored in double figures in Ryukyu’s triumph over its archrival.
Rising star Narito Namizato added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Golden Kings, who fell to the Phoenix in last season’s championship game.
For the Evessa, two-time MVP Lynn Washington scored a team-best 28 points and pulled down seven boards, while Cohey Aoki scored 13.
Broncos 83, Brave Warriors 62
In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, former NBA guard Kenny Satterfield scored 26 points and sank five 3-pointes and finished with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. John Flowers scored 20 points and Gabriel Hughes added 16 points and 11 boards as Saitama clobbered the hosts.
The Broncos led 58-42 through three quarters.
For Shinshu, an expansion team, Lee Roberts had 18 points and Edward Morris contributed 13.
89ers 74, Phoenix 71
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, O’Neal Mims had 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists and Dan Fitzgerald notched a double-double (17 points, 12 boards) as Sendai improved to 3-0.
Johnny Dukes scored 15 points and added five assists and four steals for good measure, and Takuya Komoda had 11 as coach Bob Pierce’s club handed Hamamatsu its fourth lose in five games under new bench boss Ryuji Kawai.
Wayne Arnold paced the Phoenix with 18 points, while Atsuya Ota and Jeffrey Parmer each scored 15. Hamamatsu shot 4-for-24 from 3-point range.
After the game, Pierce reflected on his team’s performance.
“Our guys showed a lot of heart, fighting back from a 17-point halftime deficit to grab a 74-71 victory right at the end of the game,” Pierce told The Japan Times. “Takuya’s second-half effort on defense helped us lock down as a team, and helped him get 11 points on the offensive end.
“Not much was going right for us, but we kept working hard on the defensive end, and gradually by moving the ball and attacking the basket, good things happened.”
Lakestars 90, HeatDevils 66
In Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, newcomer Dionisio Gomez led Shiga with 20 points and 14 rebounds in a runaway victory over Oita.
Five other Lakestars scored in double figures, including Josh Peppers (15), Ray Nixon (13) and Shinya Ogawa (12).
For the HeatDevils, Wendell White was the high scorer with 21 points and T.J. Cummings finished with 19.
Hannaryz 84, Grouses 70
In Kyoto, eight Hannaryz players registered one or more assists in new coach Hono Hamaguchi’s unselfish offense.
Rick Rickert and Lance Allred each scored 16 points, Jermaine Boyette chipped in with 14 and Yusuke Inoue had 13 for Kyoto. Hamaguchi came to Kyoto after six seasons coaching the 89ers. Ex-NBA center Allred, meanwhile, dished out a team-best six assists.
For Toyama, All-Star forward Brian Harper was the top scorer with 16 points along with 11 rebounds and center Devon Searcy poured in 12 points. Takeshi Mito and Haakim Johnson both scored seven points and Masashi Joho had six on 2-for-11 shooting.
Rizing 78, Shining Suns 72
In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Kevin Palmer’s 19 points and Akitomo Takeno’s 18, including four 3-pointers, led a well-balanced offensive attack as Fukuoka edged the hosts.
Carlos Dixon chipped in with 14 points and Gary Hamilton had a 10-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist outing to help the Rizing win the series opener.
Dexter Lyons finished with a team-best 20 points for Miyazaki, Darryl Dora added 16 points, 20 boards and five assists and Lewis Witcher supplied 13 points.
Susanoo Magic 80, Five Arrows 73
In Takamatsu, Michael Parker put 30 points on the board as Shimane won for the third time in as many games to start the season, holding off the hosts.
Reggie Golson added 14 points and Edward Yamamoto handed out eight assists with zero turnovers for the Susanoo Magic.
For the Five Arrows, who fell to 0-3, Michael Nunnally led the team in points (26) and rebounds (12).
Northern Happinets 95, Big Bulls 75
In Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture, Stanley Ocitti scored 18 points and Kenny Taylor poured in 17 as Akita whipped Iwate.
The Northern Happinets held a 26-point advantage entering the fourth quarter over the expansion Big Bulls, who were coming off a bye week. Floor leader Michael Gardener had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Akita in 20 minutes.
Makoto Sawaguchi had a team-high 20 points for Iwate.
The Big Bulls held a 53-45 edge in rebounds.