• The Japan Times


Michael Gardener’s 3-pointer with 1 second remaining capped a gusty comeback by the Takamatsu Five Arrows on Saturday in the bj-league.

Takamatsu defeated the host Osaka Evessa 77-74 after trailing by 13 points entering the final quarter.

Shota Konna’s basket with 9:48 left gave Osaka a 64-49 lead, but John Neumann’s club thrived under pressure, outscoring the hosts 28-12 in the final stanza.

Yu Okada’s 3-pointer gave the Five Arrows a 73-72 lead with 55 seconds to play. He made the first of two free throws with 40 seconds to go, increasing the lead to two.

The Evessa called a timeout with 24 seconds left. Then Lynn Washington tied it at 74-74 with 5 seconds remaining.

Gardener’s final basket helped Takamatsu improve to 5-10 and win its third straight game. The All-Star point guard finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Okada added 22 points, seven boards and five steals. Terrance Farley (12 points, six rebounds) and Antoine Broxsie (10 points, 12 boards, six blocks) also had solid outings for the Five Arrows.

Washington paced the Evessa (7-6) with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Haimo Chen scored 11 and David Palmer had 10.

Elsewhere in the bj-league, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s season-high 26 points helped the expansion Kyoto Hannaryz snap a seven-game losing streak by beating the visiting Shiga Lakestars 80-75.

Kyoto improved to 4-9.

For Shiga (7-8), Luke Zeller was the leading scorer with 17 points, and Gary Hamilton and Masashi Joho had 16 apiece.

Wendell White’s 30-point, nine-rebound, six-assist performance sparked the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix to a 96-72 home win over the Rizing Fukuoka.

William Knight had a 21-point performance and Boubacar Coly had 10 points in his Phoenix debut. Masahiro Oguchi was 3-for-3 from 3-point range, contributed nine points and collected three steals as Eastern Conference-leading Hamamatsu improved to 12-1.

Michael Parker’s 28 points led Fukuoka (9-6), which had won its previous eight games.

Kenichi Takahashi finished with game-high totals in points (22) and assists (six) in the Sendai 89ers’ 79-71 home triumph over the Saitama Broncos.

The 89ers’ Demetrius Guions scored 20 points, Gyno Pomare chipped in with 18 points, 13 boards and five assists and center Chris Holm pulled down 21 boards. Sendai improved to 10-5.

For the Broncos (6-9), Mario Jointer had a team-high 16 points.

Also Saturday, the visiting Ryukyu Golden Kings defeated the Oita HeatDevils 83-65.

Anthony McHenry paced Ryukyu with 23 points. He added eight rebounds and six assists for good measure. Jeff Newton (14 points, 13 rebounds) and George Leach (11 points, 12 boards) added double-doubles as the Golden Kings improved to 8-3. Shigeyuki Kinjo also had an 11-point performance.

Ricky Woods was Oita’s leading scorer with 30 points, but the HeatDevils fell to 5-8.

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