The Osaka Evessa’s roller-coaster season has had two extremes: a long winning streak and a long losing streak.
First-year Osaka head coach Shunsuke Todo’s team suffered its sixth straight defeat on Sunday, losing 82-72 to the host Kyoto Hannaryz.
Former Evessa star David Palmer scored a game-high 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting for the Hannaryz (8-4) and Edwin Ubiles, who has suited up for the Washington Wizards, added 15 points. Joe Werner finished with 13 point and eight rebounds and Hayato Kantake scored 10 points in Muko, Kyoto Prefecture.
Osaka (6-6) went 9-for-20 at the free-throw line. Poor free-throw shooting has been a glaring weakness as the season marches on. The Evessa are shooting 53.8 percent on free throws (150-for-279) through Sunday.
Kevin Galloway, who sat out the series opener, led Osaka with 17 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five turnovers before fouling out. Naoto Nakamura drained four 3s en route to 16 points and Zach Andrews had 12 points, with Samuel Green Jr. netting eight.
Kyoto pulled away in the fourth quarter, scoring 29 points and winning for the sixth time in eight games in front of the home fans.
Crane Thunders 72, B-Corsairs 69
In Yokohama, Gunma coach Ryan Blackwell’s club snapped a 10-game slide by edging the defending champions.
Kenya Tomori was the Crane Thunders’ high scorer with 19 points, including 5-for-9 on 3s and Marvell Waithe added 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. Shooting guard Yutaka Suzuki played a season-high 10 minutes for Gunma (2-10) and capitalized on the opportunity, scoring a season-high 11 points.
Omar Reed had a 34-point, 12-rebound afternoon for Yokohama (6-6) and Yosuke Maeda finished with 12 points. Kenji Yamada added 10 points and five assists in defeat. Masayuki Kabaya was held to zero points on 0-for-8 shooting but dished out eight assists. B-Corsairs big men Marquise Gray and Wayne Marshall were limited to six and four points, respectively a day after last year’s title-winning club had its ring ceremony at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium. (Former Yokohama star Thomas Kennedy, cut by Shimane this week, was in attendance on Saturday.)
After the game, Blackwell reflected on the series, describing the weekend as two “tough games.”
“Both teams played hard and we were fortunate to get a split after I thought we gave one away the first day,” Blackwell told The Japan Times. “(The B-Corsairs) are the defending champs and are very talented. Marshall and Gray are a handful but we did a better job today of limiting them.
“Our focus was finally there for us for an entire game on both days . . . for the most part. The players showed a lot of trust in each other and that’s something that’s been lacking.
“Kenya (Tomori) was aggressive and confident, which we need him to be for us to be successful. This was a good team win and hopefully will give us some momentum and confidence going forward.”
Golden Kings 60, Susanoo Magic 48
In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Kibwe Trim’s 21 points and 16 rebounds ignited the hosts to a win over struggling Shimane.
Draelon Burns added 13 points in his second game with the Golden Kings (10-2 overall, 7-1 at home) and Morihisa Yamauchi scored 11.
Adrian Thomas and Jeral Davis both had 12 points for the Susanoo Magic (1-11) and Edward Yamamoto scored eight. Shimane shot an abysmal 22-for-64 from the field.
Northern Happinets 93, Big Bulls 89
In Iwate, Chas McFarland posted his 10th double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Yuki Togashi contributed 17 points and nine assists as Akita picked up a victory a day after its first defeat of the season.
Richard Roby scored 19 points for the Northern Happinets (13-1) and Ruben Boykin added 10 points and 12 rebounds. Yuto Otsuka poured in 10 points for the league’s winningest team and Shigehiro Taguchi scored eight points.
Scootie Randall led Iwate (7-5) with 19 points and Kenichi Takahashi had 18 points and five assists. Josh Peppers delivered a 15-point performance, Gyno Pomare scored 13 and Lawrence Blackledge 12.
Brave Warriors 95, Broncos 79
In Saitama, coach Ryuji Kawai’s club scored 33 fourth-quarter points to wrap up its two-game sweep over the lowly Broncos.
Shinshu improved to 8-4; Saitama fell to 2-12.
Shota Konno had 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Brave Warriors and Yosuke Saito scored a season-best 16. Patrick Sanders finished with 15 points against ex-Shinshu coach Takatoshi “Big Bashi” Ishibashi’s team.
Jeffrey Parmer had 14 points, seven boards and two blocks for the hard-charging Warriors, Emanuel Willis added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Xavier Gibson and Shoji Nakanishi each scored 10.
John Humphrey was the Broncos’ top scorer with 28 points and Junya Masumoto netted 13.
The Broncos have lost nine straight games and are coming up on a bye week, fueling speculation that the team will fire Ishibashi and bring in a new head coach before the team’s next game on Nov. 30 against host Sendai in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture.
89ers 102, Cinq Reves 86
In Sendai, Wendell White’s 23-point afternoon and Travele Jones’ 20 points sparked the 89ers to their second victory in as many days over Tokyo.
Point guard Takehiko Shimura finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Sendai (5-9) and James Hughes added 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Atsushi Nogami poured in a season-high 14 points and Fumiya Sato had 12 points.
For Tokyo (4-8), Ricky Woods had team-high totals in points (30) and rebounds (13), while Yuji Ide scored 19 points. Anthony Stover (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Edward Morris (14 points and 10 boards) both produced double-doubles.
Albirex BB 78, Lakestars 68
In Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, Rodney Webb and Nile Murry scored 15 points apiece and Patrick Sullivan supplied 13 points and 11 rebounds as Niigata wrapped up its sweep over Shiga.
Takamichi Fujiwara contributed 11 points for the Albirex (10-4), who drained 8 of 20 3-pointers.
Marshall Brown paced Shiga (6-6) with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Shelton Colwell poured in 12. Dionisio Gomez and Brandon Fields scored nine points apiece and Jumpei Nakama had seven.
HeatDevils 76, Rizing 71
In Fukuoka, Verdell Jones III scored 17 points and Devonne Giles provided 16 points, 11 rebounds and four steals as Oita coach Yukinori Suzuki’s team extended its winning streak to four games.
For the HeatDevils (7-5), Shuichi Takada had 13 points. They also received steady production from Gabe McCulley (10 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks) and team leader Taishiro Shimizu (seven points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals).
The Rizing fell to 5-7 under new coach Mack Tuck.
Cohey Aoki was Fukuoka’s top scorer with 14 points, Akitomo Takeno had 13 and Reggie Warren added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Grouses 73, Wat’s 66
In Towada, Aomori Prefecture, Bob Nash’s Toyama squad chalked up another victory and improved to a franchise-best 11-1.
Aomori, an expansion squad, fell to 6-8. The Wat’s have lost four straight.
Ira Brown led the Grouses with 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Sam Willard scored 11 points and pulled down 21 boards. Masashi Joho poured in 15 points and Tatsunori Fujie scored 13 points.
Aomori’s Makoto Sawaguchi had a team-best 18 points, Yuki Kitamuki scored 11, Gordon Klaiber pumped in nine and Abdullahi Kuso contributed eight points and 14 rebounds. Anthony Kent handed out five assists.
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(Editor’s note: Saturday’s late recaps are below.)
HeatDevils 76, Rizing 66
In Fukuoka, veteran forward Shuichi Takada scored 21 points and Taishiro Shimizu poured in 19 to lead Oita to a series-opening victory over the hosts.
Gabe McCulley added 17 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks for the HeatDevils.
Cohey Aoki paced Fukuoka with 12 points and four steals. Michael Dale scored 11 points with nine rebounds and six assists and Reggie Warren had a 10-point, seven-rebound effort.
Grouses 77, Wat’s 74
In Towada, Aomori Prefecture, Tatsunori Fujie sank four 3-pointers in a 17-point outing and Ira Brown had 16 points to lead Toyama past the Wat’s.
Takeshi Mito chipped in with 14 points and five assists for the Grouses and backcourt mate Masashi Joho had 10 points and five steals. Sam Willard supplied six points, 10 boards, three assists and two blocks for the victors.
Gordon Klaiber paced Aomori with 29 points, Makoto Sawaguchi scored 13 and Abdullahi Kuso had eight points and 12 rebounds.