May 13, 2015

Niigata parts ways with Hiraoka

by Ed Odeven

The Niigata Albirex BB reached the playoffs in each of Fujitaka Hiraoka’s two seasons as head coach. But they failed to advance to the Final Four, which they did in May 2013 under Hiraoka’s predecessor, Matt Garrison. On Wednesday, the Albirex announced that Hiraoka, ...

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 ...

Mar 20, 2015

Niigata whips struggling Tokyo

by Ed Odeven

The Niigata Albirex BB overwhelmed the Tokyo Cinq Reves from start to finish in Friday’s bj-league series opener. Early on, Niigata jumped out to a big lead and kept the pressure on throughout the contest en route to a 104-51 road victory. The Albirex ...

Kennedy sparks Niigata in victory over Gunma

Mar 7, 2015

Kennedy sparks Niigata in victory over Gunma

by Ed Odeven

Niigata Albirex BB forward Thomas Kennedy is one of the bj-league’s most dependable scorers. The University of Detroit Mercy product can carry his team for key stretches on offense, and in Saturday’s 87-70 triumph over the Gunma Crane Thunders, Kennedy delivered a big reminder ...

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 ...