Apr 18, 2015

Akita beats Iwate, ties rival for top record in East

by Ed Odeven

In a clash of Eastern Conference heavyweights, the Akita Northern Happinets delivered a stellar effort in the opening quarter and maintained their poise throughout the game in a 67-58 win over the visiting Iwate Big Bulls. Shigehiro Taguchi drained four 3-pointers and led the ...

Playoff race gathering momentum

| Apr 2, 2015

Playoff race gathering momentum

by Ed Odeven

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Yokohama B-Corsairs. Second-year head coach Michael Katsuhisa’s squad endured the 14-game absence of big man Wayne Marshall from November through mid-January and the adjustment of adding key newcomers, including Dzaflo Larkai, Carl Hall and Warren Niles. The ...

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 ...