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Defending champion Yokohama drops opener to Shinshu

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Yokohama B-Corsairs have a new head coach (Michael Katsuhisa) and a vastly different lineup than the one the team had when it won the bj-league title in May as a second-year franchise.

And the B-Corsairs are now 0-1 after dropping their season opener, losing 86-79 to the visiting Shinshu Brave Warriors on Saturday in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Patrick Sanders scored 22 points and dished out five assists for Shinshu, with teammates Shota Konno and Shoji Nakanishi adding 16 and 13 points, respectively. Emanuel Willis had eight points and nine rebounds and Takato Saito and Xavier Gibson both scored seven points.

Omar Reed had 17 points and 11 rebounds in his Yokohama debut, captain Masayuki Kabaya scored 13 points and Wayne Marshall poured in 12 points with eight rebounds and two blocks. Marquise Gray added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the B-Corsairs, who trailed 42-36 at halftime.

The B-Corsairs sank 26 of 32 free throws; the Brave Warriors made 9 of 16.

Grouses 72, Broncos 64

In Toyama, veteran guard Masashi Joho scored a team-high 21 points and Takeshi Mito and Ira Brown added 16 apiece as Bob Nash’s club won its season opener over Saitama.

Post player Sam Willard grabbed 13 rebounds for the Grouses, and Brown contributed nine rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals. Mito also made three steals.

John “Helicopter” Humphrey led the Broncos with 21 points and nine rebounds. He was 4-for-14 from 3-point range. Teammate Michael Joiner scored 19 points and Junya Masumoto had 10. Saitama had 20 turnovers.

Hannaryz 89, Five Arrows 63

In Muko, Kyoto Prefecture, newcomer and former Washington Wizard Edwin Ubiles had a game-best 21 points and four teammates also reached double figures in scoring as the hosts rolled past Takamatsu.

Joe Werner added 14 points, Hayato Kantake added 12, Shun Watanuki scored 11 and Chris Holm, reuniting with his former Sendai 89ers coach Honoo Hamaguchi this season, chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Entering his third season on the Kyoto bench, Hamaguchi has guided the Hannaryz to back-to-back Final Fours. They jumped out to a 47-25 lead by halftime. The key? Outscoring Takamatsu 24-9 in the second quarter.

Six Kyoto players drained one or more 3 pointers, including two apiece by David Palmer, Kantake and Ubiles.

For the Five Arrows, Dexter Lyons was the top scorer with 15 points. Paul Williams scored 13 and Andrais Thornton had an 11-point effort.

89ers 72, Crane Thunders 65

In Sendai, Wendell White had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four steals and Travele Jones supplied 15 points and 13 rebounds for the hosts as they completed a series sweep over Gunma.

Point guard Takehiko Shimura dished out eight assists, finishing with 21 for the series and only three turnovers. Big man Dzaflo Larkai added nine points for the 89ers.

Darko Cohadarevic paced the Crane Thunders with 17 points and Marvell Waithe had 12 points and 10 boards and Lewis Witcher scored 10, including 8-for-8 at the foul line.

Big Bulls 80, Albirex BB 78 (OT)

In Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, Lawrence Blackledge’s all-around effort (12 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, two steals) before fouling out energized the hosts in an overtime triumph over Niigata.

Josh Peppers led Iwate with 24 points off the bench, including 8-for-10 shooting from inside the arc. Gyno Pomare poured in 22 points and Kenichi Takahashi had 12. Masato Tsukino handed out six assists in the win.

Nile Murry scored 22 points for Niigata and Patrick Sullivan had 20 points, 16 boards and five steals along with eight turnovers. Rodney Webb notched a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) for the Albirex.

Northern Happinets 70, Wat’s 67

In Yuri Honjo, Akita Prefecture, high-energy guard Yuki Togashi scored 28 points and registered six assists to lead the hosts to a victory over Aomori.

Richard Roby added 15 points for Akita and Yuto Otsuka had eight. Ruben Boykin, a Northern Arizona University product, contributed six points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Togashi sank 6 of 13 3-point shots. The rest of his team shot a combined 3-for-17 from long range. Chas McFarland and Roby each had four blocks for the Happinets.

Gordon Klaiber finished with team-high totals in points (22), rebounds (16) and steals (four) for the expansion Wat’s. Eric May added 11 points and seven assists and Yuki Kitamuki had a 10-point outing.

Phoenix 80, Lakestars 78

In Hamamatsu, Aki Chambers scored 19 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the hosts edged Shiga.

Kevin Young had 17 points, Cyrus Tate provided 14, Jamelle Barrett 12 and Shinnosuke Oishi had eight for Hamamatsu Higashimikawa.

Winning coach Tomoya Higashino’s club grabbed 50 rebounds to Shiga’s 37 and also held a plus-13 advantage in offensive rebounds.

For the Lakestars, Dionisio Gomez scored 23 points in just under 23 minutes and raked in nine rebounds. Brandon Fields netted 15 points and Shelton Colwell had 13. Marshall Brown delivered six assists and Jumpei Nakama scored eight points for Shiga.

HeatDevils 76, Bambitious 53

In Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, Devonne Giles’ 27-point, 18-rebound, three-steal performance and Verdell Jones’ 23-point, six-steal evening sparked Oita to a lopsided win, spoiling the expansion Bambitious’ first regular-season home game.

Hiroki Oshiro and Taishiro Shimizu added 11 points apiece for the HeatDevils, who outscored Nara 30-7 in the third quarter to extend their lead to 60-38 entering the final period.

Ryo Inagaki had a team-high 13 points for Nara, and Jamar Abrams and Joe Chapman both scored 12.

Rizing 88, Susanoo Magic 87

In Fukuoka, Reggie Warren’s 18-point performance helped guide the Rizing to a narrow victory over Shimane.

Michael Dale added 15 points and 11 rebounds and Akitomo Takeno and Satoshi Ishitani each had 10 points for the Rizing, last season’s championship runnerup club. Cohey Aoki added nine points.

For Shimane, Thomas Kennedy led the way with 21 points and Jeral Davis had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Adrian Thomas sank four 3s in a 14-point effort and Koki Yabuuchi had 11 points.

Cinq Reves 74, Golden Kings 67 (OT)

In Okinawa City, guard Yuji Ide scored a game-high 34 points, including six 3-pointers, and Tokyo opened its second season with an overtime triumph over Ryukyu.

Edward Morris finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Cinq Reves and Akihito Inoue scored 10 points.

Scootie Randall and Ryuichi Kishimoto each had 18 points for the Golden Kings, while Kibwe Trim added 15 points and 17 rebounds. Longtime starters Jeff Newton and Anthony McHenry had a combined five points.

Ryukyu struggled from the field, shooting 13-for-45 from inside the arc, with McHenry, the league’s reigning regular-season MVP, going 1-for-11. The Kings were 8-for-35 from 3-point range.