Happinets ride strong second half into bj-league final

May 23, 2015

Happinets ride strong second half into bj-league final

by Ed Odeven

The Akita Northern Happinets dominated the second half against the Iwate Big Bulls, turning a tie game into a convincing victory. First-year head coach Makoto Hasegawa guided the Northern Happinets to an 84-68 Eastern Conference final victory over the Big Bulls at Ariake Colosseum ...

Akita, Iwate, Hamamatsu, Shiga advance to Final Four

May 10, 2015

Akita, Iwate, Hamamatsu, Shiga advance to Final Four

by Ed Odeven

The Final Four picture is now set, and it’s a decidedly different look this year. The Akita Northern Happinets and Iwate Big Bulls will represent the Eastern Conference, while the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix and Shiga Lakestars advanced from the Western Conference. The Big Bulls ...

Fukushima makes great progress in first season

| May 5, 2015

Fukushima makes great progress in first season

by Ed Odeven

The Fukushima Firebonds’ season-ending loss on Sunday closed one chapter in the team’s history. But of greater significance was the foundation the first-year franchise built over the past eight months. This is where you start: The Firebonds have a determined, capable young head coach ...

Big Bulls dismantle Firebonds in playoff opener

May 2, 2015

Big Bulls dismantle Firebonds in playoff opener

by Ed Odeven

Aggressive. Alert. Attentive. Those were the defining traits that shined through for the Iwate Big Bulls in their playoff opener. In a teacher’s grade book, the second-seeded Big Bulls would’ve received satisfactory scores — straight As — for their overall effort and execution. It ...

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 ...