Parker stars as West beats East in NBL All-Star Game

by Kaz Nagatsuka

Staff Writer

Wakayama Trians player Michael Parker scored 27 points and cleaned the boards 15 times as the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference 114-106 in the NBL All-Star Game at Tokyo’s Ota City General Gymnasium on Sunday night.

Parker was named MVP after the game.

“It’s always fun to play with the best players in the league, because normally you have to play against them,” said Parker, who has also twice been named MVP in the bj-league All-Star Game. “When you are on the team, you get to talk to them more, you can be close to them. So obviously it’s a privilege to play with them.”

Also for the West, Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Dolphins’ Magnum Rolle had a game-high 28 points while Aisin SeaHorses shooter Kosuke Kanamaru sank five 3-pointers for 17 points.

“Both teams played fantastic plays,” West head coach Zeljko Pavlicevic said. “But the most important thing was that so many fans came to this game today.”

A jam-packed crowd of 3,454 fans attended the game.

The East’s Yusuke Okada, of the Toyota Motors Alvark, said it was his third All-Star Game dating back to the JBL days, but the inaugural NBL All-Star Game was a lot different in terms of the atmosphere.

“It’s improved a lot,” said Okada, who led Team East with 20 points. “The atmosphere was really good. And it was a good thing that this game drew this many people. What we need is to keep it up in the regular season as well.”

The current scoring leader of the season, Toshiba Brave Thunders center Nick Fazekas, followed Okada with 19 points.

Earlier in the day, Rolle won the slam dunk contest while Naoto Tsuji of Toshiba was crowned champion in the 3-point contest.