Iwate's Oketani earns 300th career victory

Feb 15, 2015

Iwate's Oketani earns 300th career victory

by Ed Odeven

When the bj-league tipped off in the fall of 2005, Dai Oketani was working as an assistant under Oita HeatDevils head coach Jawann Oldham, a former NBA big man. Oldham’s tenure in the bj-league lasted just 16 games, and Oita was 4-12 when he ...

| Feb 12, 2015

Shimane showing surprising improvement

by Ed Odeven

Despite a disastrous start this season, the Shimane Susanoo Magic won’t challenge the Takamatsu Five Arrows’ league record of 50 losses. Shimane has made a dramatic turnaround in recent weeks, winning eight of its past 11 games. The Susanoo Magic (11-21 through Sunday) now ...

Feb 7, 2015

Defense, fan support fuel Akita's success on road

by Ed Odeven

The Akita Northern Happinets have rattled off 16 victories in their past 17 games. What’s more, first-year bench boss Makoto Hasegawa’s team now has a jaw-dropping 16-2 record in road games after a 97-74 dismantling of the Iwate Big Bulls on Saturday afternoon. Akita, ...

Jan 16, 2015

Fukushima outplays Iwate in series opener

by Ed Odeven

Set aside an eight-game losing streak in the fall, and the expansion Fukushima Firebonds have played nearly .500 ball so far in their inaugural bj-league season. In addition, the Firebonds collected a hard-earned 79-74 home victory over the Eastern Conference heavyweight Iwate Big Bulls ...

Joho sparks Toyama in victory over rival Iwate

Dec 21, 2014

Joho sparks Toyama in victory over rival Iwate

by Ed Odeven

Star guard Masashi Joho’s return to the Toyama Grouses lineup this weekend delivered what the team has come to expect during his tenure with the franchise: victories. Joho, the 2013-14 bj-league MVP, scored a game-high 20 points and made three steals in the Grouses’ ...

Iwate's Randall stays focused on winning

| Dec 1, 2014

Iwate's Randall stays focused on winning

by Ed Odeven

The Japan Times features periodic interviews with players in the bj-league. Scootie Randall of the Eastern Conference-leading Iwate Big Bulls is the subject of this week’s profile. Position: Forward Age: 24 Ht: 198 cm Wt: 102 kg Hometown: Philadelphia College: Temple University Noteworthy: Randall, ...

Nov 23, 2014

Big Bulls beat B-Corsairs to stretch win streak to 14

by Ed Odeven

What has defined the Iwate Big Bulls’ performance this season? Wins. Lots of wins. And what’s defined those wins? “I think we are the best ‘hustle’ team,” Iwate coach Dai Oketani told The Japan Times after the Big Bulls defeated the visiting Yokohama B-Corsairs ...

Nov 1, 2014

Iwate crushes Tokyo, improves to 8-1

by Ed Odeven

Nothing the Tokyo Cinq Reves did on Saturday could slow down the Iwate Big Bulls, and nothing could stop them from taking an insurmountable lead. The Big Bulls led by 15 points after one quarter, and then it was a 51-17 advantage at halftime. ...

| Oct 2, 2014

Key questions entering 10th season

by Ed Odeven

Japan’s first men’s pro basketball circuit tips off its 10th season with 10 games on Saturday. Now with a new title sponsor on board, the Turkish Airlines bj-league will have one franchise making its regular-season debut on the same day. The Fukushima Firebonds play ...

Jun 27, 2014

Upcoming bj-league season set for Oct. 4 start

by Ed Odeven

The 2014-15 bj-league season, the league’s 10th, is set to tip off on Oct. 4. Each of the league’s 22 teams, including the expansion Fukushima Firebonds, will play regular-season 52 games, according to a news release issued on Thursday. With the addition of Fukushima, ...