Led by big man Jeral Davis’ powerful presence (five dunks), the Shimane Susanoo Magic salvaged a series split on Sunday, and with it, they took a step in the right direction.
Shimane, which advanced to postseason play in each of its first three seasons, stumbled to an 0-7 record to begin their fourth season.
Then, on Sunday, they defeated the host Takamatsu Five Arrows 82-67 to pick up their first victory of the season.
The expansion Bambitious Nara (0-6) remain the only club in the 21-team circuit without a win.
The 216-cm Davis scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Shawn Malloy added 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting with eight rebounds, Thomas Kennedy had a 15-point, 11-rebound, five-assist, two-steal effort and Kazuya “J.” Hatano, who collected three championship rings during his days with the Osaka Evessa dynasty, contributed 11 points in 20 quality minutes.
New Shimane coach Vlasios Vlaikidis’ club had lost five games by six points or less.
On Sunday, the Magic built a lead — 21-14 after one quarter, 36-23 at halftime, 63-53 after three quarters — and held on to it.
“I’m just happy we got our first win of the season and we have to build on that,” Davis told The Japan Times. The key, he said, is Shimane needs to “continue getting better as a team.”
The Magic shot 33-for-58 from inside the arc to secure the victory in Bizen, Okayama Prefecture.
Paul Williams paced Takamatsu (2-4) with 15 points and Dexter Lyons scored 10. Point guard Masaaki Suzuki had an eight-point game and Andrais Thornton added seven points.
Northern Happinets 90, Brave Warriors 83
In Akita, sharpshooter Shigehiro Taguchi buried 7 of 13 3-pointers and scored a game-high 32 points and Chas McFarland added 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting with nine rebounds as the Northern Happinets completed a series sweep over Shinshu.
Ruben Boykin chipped in with 15 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Teammate Richard Roby finished with 13 points, six boards, five assists and three steals. Yuki Togashi dished out six assists for Akita (8-0).
The Brave Warriors (3-3) had four double-digit scorers: Jeffrey Parmer (20 points), Shota Konno (18), Patrick Sanders (15) and Xavier Gibson (14). Parmer also came up with 13 rebounds and seven assists.
Evessa 81, Broncos 65
In Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, MVP candidate Kevin Galloway scored 35 points and made six steals to spark the Evessa to their second win in as many days over struggling Saitama.
Zack Andrews added 13 points and 13 rebounds and Naoto Nakamura poured in 11 points for Osaka (6-0). Dillion Sneed added 10 points in the lopsided victory.
Osaka outscored Saitama 32-13 in the fourth quarter.
John “Helicopter” Humphrey led the Broncos (2-6) with 22 points and had 10 rebounds. Michael Joiner scored 10 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Takahiro Misawa handed out five assists.
Saitama finished with 21 turnovers.
Grouses 72, Big Bulls 64
In Takizawa, Iwate Prefecture, Takeshi Mito and Masashi Joho each scored 22 points in the Grouses’ victory over the Big Bulls.
Toyama improved to 6-0 under second-year coach Bob Nash, a former NBA forward.
Sam Willard contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Grouses, who pulled down 21 offensive rebounds, five more than the visitors.
Josh Peppers was Iwate’s top scorer with 19 points, Lawrence Blackledge had 15 points and Minoru Kimura added 11. Blackledge also had five steals.
Wat’s 80, Cinq Reves 49
In Tokyo, coach Koju Munakata’s club cranked up the defensive intensity against the hosts, collecting 15 steals to fuel a blowout victory.
Aomori, an expansion squad, improved to 4-4.
Gordon Klaiber led the Wat’s with 28 points, knocking down 6 of 8 3-pointers. Eric May scored 13 points and Anthony Kent and Yuta Kojima had 11 apiece. Yuki Kitamuki had an eight-point outing.
Tokyo (1-5) shot 1-for-18 from beyond the arc and 19-for-68 overall. Edward Morris and Anthony Stover each scored 13 points for the Cinq Reves.
Phoenix 63, Hannaryz 57
In Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, Aki Chambers scored a game-high 19 points and Hamamatsu Higashimikawa earned a series split by prevailing in the low-scoring rematch.
Kyoto fell to 5-1. Hamamatsu raised its record to 4-4.
Cyrus Tate scored 11 points for the Phoenix and Ray Nixon and Deshawn Stephens had eight apiece. Atsuya Ota added seven points and Jermaine Dixon registered six assists, Kyoto’s exact total on the afternoon.
Edwin Ubiles led the Hannaryz with 18 points off the bench and Joe Werner and Shun Watanuki had 12 apiece. Kyoto’s Gyno Pomare was the game’s top rebounder (12 boards).
Albirex BB 78, Crane Thunders 60
In Niigata, Kimitake Sato went 7-for-10 from 3-point range en route to a game-high 23 points (his jersey number) as the Albirex swept Gunma.
Several Niigata players made key contributions in a well-rounded team effort. Nile Murry had 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Rodney Webb scored 14 points and raked in six boards. Patrick Sullivan finished with 11 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Takamichi Fujiwara scored eight points and Shuhei Komatsu had seven. Niigata (5-3) had six players with two or more assists.
Darko Cohadarevic led the Crane Thunders (1-5) with 16 points. Shingo Okada scored 14 points and Marvell Waithe had 13.
Golden Kings 74, Rizing 64
In Okinawa City, Anthony McHenry scored 19 points and Kibwe Trim netted 17 as Ryukyu completed a sweep over Fukuoka.
Shigeyuki Kinjo and Ryuichi Kishimoto finished with 10 points apiece for the Golden Kings (6-2) before an announced crowd of 3,060.
McHenry dished out five assists and Naoto Kosuge made four steals for the hosts.
For Fukuoka (3-5), Julius Ashby had 15 points, Reggie Warren scored 12 and hauled in 11 rebounds to post his sixth double-double of the season, while Seth Tarver had 10 points. Veteran guards Jun Nakanishi and Cohey Aoki chipped in with nine points and seven points, respectively.