The expansion Tokyo Cinq Reves fell to 0-4 in exhibition play on Sunday, losing 86-69 to the Sendai 89ers in the second day of the Tohoku Cup in Akita.
Kevin Coble paced the 89ers with 25 points and Takuya Komoda scored 21 points and Sam Willard scored 13.
Rasheem Barrett scored a team-high 32 points for Tokyo and Ilija Milutinovic had a 14-point game.
The Akita Northern Happinets defeated the Iwate Big Bulls 82-72. The Happinets went 2-0 in the tournament, beating Sendai by seven points in the opening day of the tournament. Iwate handed Tokyo a 24-point loss on Saturday.
Despite the Cinq Reves’ early struggles, one longtime league observer believes the first-year franchise will not be a pushover during the 2012-13 season.
“Don’t count the Cinq Reves out just yet,” the source told The Japan Times Sunday evening. “(Tokyo) coach (Motofumi) Aoki is a wiley veteran who knows how to coach these kind of teams. Cohey (Aoki) and (Takuro) Ito didn’t play in the Tohoku Cup, but along with (Akihito) Inoue and (Hirohisa) Takada they should have a good nucleus of Japanese players.”
Tokyo’s post players — 211-cm Jonathan Jones, 216-cm Jared Carter and 211-cm Milutinovic — “will cause problems (for opposing teams),” the source observed.
Also Sunday, the Niigata Albirex BB topped the visiting Saitama Broncos 90-68. The Toyama Grouses beat the host Shinshu Brave Warriors 84-75. Masashi Joho scored 28 points for Toyama.