The Kyoto Hannaryz stunned the host Ryukyu Golden Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday afternoon.
The Hannaryz’s 82-57 victory represents a big departure from their 0-4 record during the bj-league regular season against the Golden Kings.
Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. If Ryukyu, the reigning champion, bounces back with a victory, a 10-minute mini-tiebreaker game will be held after a 25-minute break to shatter the deadlock and determine which team will move on to the Final Four next weekend at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.
The fifth-seeded Hannaryz, who ousted the No. 4 Shiga Lakestars last weekend, took a seven-point lead into the second quarter, and increased that margin to 41-27 entering intermission.
Ryukyu trailed 63-46 after three quarters.
Kyoto made 12 of 25 3-pointers, including Jermaine Boyette’s 5-for-7 effort. He scored a game-high 19 points. Teammate Masaharu Kataoka was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc for all of his points, and added six rebounds and two assists.
Gyno Pomare finished with 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the visitors. Marcus Cousin provided 10 points, David Palmer had nine points and nine boards against his former club, and Yu Okada poured in eight points.
The Hannaryz reached the Final Four for the first time last May and rebuilt the team with several new players in the offseason.
The Golden Kings had a poor shooting performance, going 15-for-39 from 2-point range and 8-for-26 from beyond the arc.
Anthony McHenry, who was named the 2012-13 regular-season MVP last week, had a team-high 15 points for Ryukyu. McHenry added five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Center Dzaflo Larkai scored 11 points with 11 rebounds for the Golden Kings and Terrance Woodbury scored 10 on 4-for-13 shooting. Point guard Narito Namizato added five points on 2-for-8 shooting and six assists.
The Golden Kings were 3-for-10 at the free-throw line, and had more turnovers (14) than assists (12).
Big man Jeff Newton wasn’t a factor for Ryukyu. The only five-time champion in bj-league history had zero points and two rebounds in 9:30 off the bench.
Rizing 88, Susanoo Magic 86 (OT)
In Fukuoka, Reggie Warren scored 25 points and Julius Ashby had 22 to lead the Rizing to a Game 1 win over Shimane.
Warrren knocked down 4 of 5 3-pointers for second-seeded Fukuoka. Ashby added seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Josh Peppers scored 15 points with seven rebounds and five assists. Akitomo Takeno had 14 points.
Fukuoka trailed 44-35 after two quarters.
Brandon Freeman scored a game-high 28 points and Jeral Davis provided the third-seeded Susanoo Magic with 26 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Michael Parker finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a pair of blocks, and Tatsuhiro Yokoo had eight points.
The Magic had 18 turnovers; the Rizing had just six.
Albirex BB 80, Northern Happinets 69
In Niigata, the hosts outmuscled Akita on the boards en route to a Game 1 victory of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Led by Rodney Webb’s 12 rebounds and Chris Holm’s 12, Niigata hauled in 52 boards to Akita’s 37.
Nile Murry and Yuichi Ikeda both made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points apiece for the Albirex, who won the East’s regular-season title with a 36-16 record. Webb scored a dozen points, Kimitake Sato had 11 on 5-for-16 shooting and Taj Finger and Holm added 10 apiece. Murry finished with seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block. Hirotaka Kondo dished out six assists for Niigata.
The score was tied at 34-34 at halftime.
The Albirex outscored the fifth-seeded Northern Happinets 28-16 in the third quarter to create some distance between the teams.
For Akita, rookie guard Yuki Togashi had a team-high 19 points with seven assists. Marshall Brown scored 14 points, Mike Anderson had 13 and Dion Harris finished with 11 on 4-for-12 shooting.
As expected, the Happinets attempted a large number of 3s, going 9-for-32. They were 18-for-32 from inside the arc.
The series winner meets the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the Eastern Conference final next Saturday at Ariake Colosseum.