Big man Adrian Moss delivered a gutsy 20-point, 21-rebound performance to lead the Bambitious Nara to a 70-60 series-opening victory over the Saitama Broncos on Wednesday night.
The 204-cm Moss, who starred on the 2006 NCAA Division I champion University of Florida Gators, led all players in both categories. He added two steals and one blocked shot for the Bambitious (7-20 overall, 5-8 at home) in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture.
Joe Chapman scored 19 points, handed out five assists and collected four steals for the hosts. Anthony Brown had 12 points and seven rebounds and Jumpei Honda and Tatsuya Suzuki each scored five points for the first-year franchise. Suzuki dished out four assists.
The score was knotted at 36-36 at halftime.
Broncos star John “Helicopter” Humphrey, the bj-league’s leading scorer (23.0 points per game) sat out his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. He last played on Jan. 11, scoring 37 points and helping Saitama end a 19-game losing streak.
On Tuesday night, Humphrey tweeted, “Always something. And this ice massage isn’t helping. Tooooooooo cold.”
The Broncos (3-24 overall, 1-14) on the road) scored less than 20 points in all four quarters — in sequence, they had 19, 17, 14 and 10.
Mark Dawson paced Saitama with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Michael Joiner scored 16 points. Reina Itakura had a 10-point effort. Saitama shot 22-for-61 from the field.
The two-game series resumes at 7 p.m. on Thursday.