The Aomori Wat’s recorded the biggest victory in franchise history on Saturday night, beating the Ryukyu Golden Kings 72-70 and ending the Western Conference powerhouse’s 12-game winning streak.
The Wat’s, a first-year bj-league franchise, improved to 10-11.
After the game, Aomori forward Gordon Klaiber told The Japan Times, “I just think we did what we try to do every game, which is play good one-on-one defense, and that’s where our focus is at on the defensive end.
“Our offense will come around and when it does we look really good.”
The series opener, held in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, saw Ryukyu (16-3) take a 23-17 lead into the second quarter, but Wat’s coach Koju Munakata’s club kept its composure and took control — a 38-35 advantage — into the intermission.
The Wat’s played solid basketball in the second half to pick up the win.
Game stats were unavailable at press time.
Brave Warriors 99, Phoenix 88 (OT)
In Hamamatsu, former Phoenix coach Ryuji Kawai beat his old club in a fiercely competitive series opener, guiding Shinshu to its sixth straight victory.
For the Brave Warriors, Patrick Sanders had a lousy shooting night from 3-point range (1-for-10) but converted 9 of 13 from inside the arc and went 7-for-9 at the free-throw line and wound up with a game-high 28 points along with 13 rebounds. Xavier Gibson added 26 points and 16 boards.
Jeff Parmer, the league’s 2010-11 regular-season MVP while helping Hamamatsu Higashimikawa capture a championship, scored 11 points against his former club. Shota Konno added nine points and five assists for Shinshu (14-5).
Ray Nixon had 25 points, including six 3s, and 10 rebounds for the Phoenix (11-10). Aki Chambers scored 19 points and Masahiro Oguchi had 16. Deshawn Stephens finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Jermaine Dixon had 11 points and six assists before fouling out.
Five Arrows 93, Broncos 83
In Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, Dexter Lyons’ 28 points and Paul Williams’ 27-point, 14-rebound, five-assist effort carried Takamatsu past the Broncos, who suffered their 16th straight loss.
Lyons drained 4 of 7 3s. Teammate Tsubasa Yonezawa canned 3 of 4 3-pointers in a 15-point game and Sean Smith added 14 points for the Five Arrows (9-10).
Saitama fell to a league-worst 2-19.
Mark Dawson had team-high totals in points (26) and rebounds (14) for the Broncos, while Masahide Haraguchi scored 14 points and John “Helicopter” Humphrey 13.
Bambitious 84, 89ers 83
In Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, Joe Chapman scored 17 points and four teammates reached double figures in points as the hosts recorded a down-to-the-wire win over Sendai.
Chapman knocked down three 3s on the night. Tatsuya Suzuki was 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and scored 16 points for Nara (5-14). Adrian Moss and Jamar Abrams both finished with 13 points, with Moss grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out four assists, too. Anthony Brown had a 12-point game.
Wendell White scored 37 points and hauled in 14 rebounds for the 89ers. Dzaflo Larkai contributed 18 points and 17 boards and Fumiya Sato scored nine points for Sendai (10-11).
B-Corsairs 75, Susanoo Magic 55
In Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, defending champion Yokohama held Shimane to two fourth-quarter points while scoring 17.
That dominating finish gave the B-Corsairs (10-11) a victory in the series opener.
Marquise Gray led Yokohama with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Masayuki Kabaya had 15 points and seven assists. Teammates Omar Reed and Ryuichi Horikawa each had 12 points and Wayne Marshall contributed eight points and three blocked shots. Kenji Yamada added five steals.
Shawn Malloy paced the Susanoo Magic (5-16) with 14 points and Adrian Thomas scored 10.
Shimane shot 3-for-18 from long range.
Big Bulls 85, Rizing 77
In Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, Lawrence Blackledge had a team-best 20 points and the Big Bulls shot 57.3 percent from the field to beat Fukuoka.
Josh Peppers scored 18 points, Gyno Pomare pumped in 12, Scootie Randall had 10, Masato Tsukino finished with eight and Kenichi Takahashi and Tsubasa Yonamine seven apiece as Iwate improved to 12-7.
The Big Bulls swatted seven shots and forced 20 turnovers while holding the Rizing to 29-for-71 shooting.
Julius Ashby and Seth Tarver were Fukuoka’s top scorers with 18 points apiece. Reggie Warren had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Rizing (8-11).
Northern Happinets 85, Evessa 79
In Osaka, Eastern Conference-leading Akita increased its scoring output in all four quarters, including a 31-point outburst in the last 10 minutes to seal the win.
Ruben Boykin led the Happinets (19-4) with 20 points and Chas McFarland had 17 with 12 rebounds. Yuki Togashi also scored 17 points and handed out seven assists, while Richard Roby put 12 points on the board and made four steals.
Dillion Sneed had a double-double (23 points, 13 rebounds) for Osaka and Kevin Galloway provided 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in defeat. Marcus Capers and Naoto Nakamura each had 11 points for the Evessa (8-13).
Albirex BB 74, HeatDevils 71
In Seiro, Niigata Prefecture, the hosts took a 26-10 lead into the second quarter and then held off Oita down the stretch to pick up the win.
Kimitake Sato led Niigata (16-7) with 15 points. Nile Murry scored 13 points, Yuichi Ikeda had 10, Rodney Webb added nine and Takamichi Fujiwara and Patrick Sullivan both had eight.
For Oita (12-9), Taishiro Shimizu scored 21 points and Devonne Giles chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Verdell Jones III had 12 points and five assists and Shuichi Takada scored 10 points.
Lakestars 90, Grouses 87
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Marshall Brown scored 29 points and Brandon Fields had 27 to guide the Lakestars to a triumph over Toyama.
Yutaka Yokoe had eight points and six assists for Shiga (10-11).
The Lakestars shot 15-for-18 at the free-throw line. The Grouses were 11-for-18 on a night when every missed shot appeared significant.
Ira Brown had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Toyama (16-5) and Masashi Joho scored 19 points. Sam Willard pulled down 13 rebounds.
Hannaryz 83, Cinq Reves 57
In Yamashiro, Kyoto Prefecture, the Hannaryz hammered the undermanned visitors on the boards en route to a blowout win.
Kyoto (14-7) hauled in 62 rebounds and held Tokyo to 31. Chris Holm, who had 12 points, led the effort with 17 rebounds for the Hannaryz. Frontcourt mate Joe Werner scored 24 points and completed the double-double with 13 rebounds.
Former Washington Wizard Edwin Ubiles came off the bench and scored 13 points and 17 minutes for the Hannaryz, who led 66-35 entering the final period.
Yuji Ide paced Tokyo (6-15) with 28 points and Edward Morris had 10.
The Hannaryz played four imports; the Cinq Reves used two.