The Takamatsu Five Arrows found the right combinations on offense, and they needed every point along the way, prevailing 105-102 over the rival Rizing Fukuoka on Saturday in the bj-league.
The Five Arrows turned to veteran floor leader and fiery competitor Rasheed Sparks (26 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists) to set the tone in the series opener on Shikoku island.
Shuichi Takada flourished in his role as the No. 2 scorer, adding 20 points and veteran Satoshi Takeda chipped in with 19.
The Five Arrows improved to 3-4.
For the Rizing (4-3), Michael Parker, the league’s two-time defending scoring champion, had a strong game, with 26 points and 19 rebounds. Nile Murry also scored 19 for Fukuoka.
Broncos 79, Apache 78
In Saitama, Kazuya Hatano and Gordon Klaiber each scored 16 points and the hosts edged Tokyo in their first regular-season meeting this season.
Kenny Satterfield orchestrated the Broncos’ offense with precision passes (13 assists) and also scored seven points. Bruce Brown scored 12 and Bobby Nash added 10. Daiki Terashita poured in nine for coach Bob Nash’s club, which improved to 2-5.
Steady guard Jumpei Nakama paced the Apache (1-4) with 19 points, Jeremy Tyler had 13, Byron Eaton scored 11 and handed out six assists and Kendall Dartez scored 10.
Tokyo standouts Robert Swift and Cohey Aoki were non-factors, finishing with three and two points, respectively.
Albirex BB 70, Phoenix 69
In Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture, Julius Ashby scored 18 points and controlled the boards with 12 rebounds and Zach Andrews added 14 points to lead Niigata to a series-opening triumph over Hamamatsu Higashimikawa.
Naoto Takushi and Willie Veasley each scored 10 apiece for the Albirex (4-1) and Yuichi Ikeda had a nine-point outing.
Wayne Arnold, Jeffrey Parmer and Kenya Tomori scored 12 points apiece for the reigning champion Phoenix (5-2).
Grouses 79, Northern Happinets 66
In Akita, John Davis had 18 points and eight rebounds, Takeshi Mito poured in 15 points and Matthew Kyle scored 10 as Toyama defeated the hosts.
The Grouses improved to 3-4. The expansion Happinets slipped to 2-5.
For Akita, Sek Henry had a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds, Paul Butorac scored 13 and Anthony Coleman had nine. Makoto Sawaguchi, the Happinets’ 18-year-old guard, led all players with four assists.
Golden Kings 93, HeatDevils 76
In Okinawa City, Ryukyu started strong and cruised to a one-sided win over Oita.
The Golden Kings built a 27-14 lead after one quarter and held a 19-point advantage entering the final stanza.
Shigeyuki Kinjo scored a season-high 20 points for Ryukyu (3-4). Abdullahi Kuso added 18 points and eight rebounds and Carlos Dixon scored 16 and pulled down seven boards. Former league MVP Jeff Newton added eight points and 11 rebounds.
For Oita (3-4), Damian Johnson had a 21-point effort, Rolando Howell scored 19 and Taj Finger added 17 points.
Susanoo Magic 88, Shining Suns 78
In Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, high-energy guard Takumi Ishizaki scored a game-high 28 points to lead the hosts to a win in the first meeting of the expansion teams this season.
Center Jeral Davis added 14 points, including two dunks, for Shimane (4-3).
Brandon Cole led Miyazaki (2-5) with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jackie Manuel had 17 points and seven boards.
89ers 82, Lakestars 76
In Higashiomi, Shiga Prefecture, Mac Hopson scored 23 points, Mike Bell had a double-double (14 points, 15 boards) and Kenichi Takahashi added 12 points to lead Sendai to a win over the hosts.
Chris Holm, the reigning rebounding champion, finished with 10 points and 14 boards for the 89ers (5-2).
Mikey Marshall scored a team-best 22 points for the Lakestars (4-3), while Masashi Joho had 16. Lamar Rice added 16 points and Gary Hamilton had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Evessa 96, Hannaryz 83
In Osaka Prefecture, the hosts improved to a league-best 6-1. Kyoto, a second-year franchise, slipped to 3-4.
Player statistics were unavailable at press time.
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