Patrick Sanders scored a game-high 28 points and three teammates reached double figures in scoring as the Shinshu Brave Warriors defeated the Niigata Albirex BB 88-78 on Friday night in their bj-league series opener.
The Brave Warriors improved to 10-5, including 6-1 at home. The Albirex fell to 13-6 overall, 4-5 on the road.
Sanders canned 4 of 11 3-pointers en route to a season-high scoring output. Xavier Gibson added 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks for Shinshu, Yosuke Saito finished with 14 points and five assists and Shota Konno poured in 13 points in Ina, Nagano, Prefecture.
Coach Ryuji Kawai’s Warriors led 38-33 at halftime.
Yuichi Ikeda paced Niigata with 20 points, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Rodney Webb had 15 points and four assists for the Albirex. Nile Murry, the league’s November MVP, contributed 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block. Teammates Kimitake Sato and Patrick Sullivan scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.