Thomas stars as Phoenix eclipse Shining Suns


Staff Writer

Decades from now, Adrian Thomas will still remember Sunday’s game at Hamamatsu Arena, when the spotlight shined on him from start to finish.

With his teammates setting him up for shot after shot and a green light from coach Ryuji Kawai to do what he does best, Thomas had a ridiculously prolific game for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix.

The final numbers: 13-for-25 from 3-point range and 41 points in a laugher, a 139-83 victory over the visiting Miyazaki Shining Suns in the bj-league series finale.

Hamamatsu won the opener 112-77 on Saturday.

Thomas, a 25-year-old former University of Miami (Florida) player, has previously competed in the NBA Development League and in the NBA Summer League for the Miami Heat.

Hamamatsu improved to 7-3 in its first season in the Western Conference after four sensational campaigns in the Eastern Conference, and Thomas helped the run-and-gun squad establish a league record for total points, shattering the old mark (126) set by the Toyama Grouses in a triple-overtime contest against the Rizing Fukuoka on Oct. 24, 2009.

In addition, Thomas established a league record for 3s in one game. Michael Gardener had 10 3-pointers on May 10, 2009, for Hamamatsu, and his former Phoenix teammate Masahiro Oguchi drained 10 in the Final Four on May 22, 2010.

Thomas scored 25 points and drained 7 of 14 3s on Saturday.

Kevin Galloway finished with a triple-double in Hamamatsu’s rout, with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 16 assists. Jeffrey Parmer had 15 points, Atsuya Ota added 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Tsubasa Yonezawa poured in 13 points.

The Phoenix erupted for 85 points after intermission. As a team, Hamamatsu was 21-for-43 on 3-point shots.

Larriques Cunningham paced the Shining Suns (1-7) with 33 points and Dominique Keller had 28.

Northern Happinets 76, Cinq Reves 55

In Akita, T.J. Cummings scored 18 points to lead the hosts to a sweep over Tokyo.

Kazuhiro Shoji had 12 and sank all three of his 3-point shots and Dion Harris and Anthony Kent scored 11 points apiece for the Northern Happinets (6-0).

Hirohisa Takada and Jonathan Jones scored 11 points apiece for Tokyo (2-6). Cinq Reves star Cohey Aoki missed the series due to an undisclosed injury.

Susanoo Magic 93, Hannaryz 86

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, balanced scoring carried Zeljko Pavlicevic’s squad to a victory over Kyoto in the series finale.

Shimane, in its third season, improved to 6-2.

Michael Parker had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic and Brandon Freeman scored 17. B.J. Puckett added 16 points and Tatsuhiro Yokoo had 12. Koki Yabuuchi contributed nine points.

Gyno Pomare paced the Hannaryz (0-8) with 20 points, Yu Okada had an 18-point afternoon, David Palmer scored 14 points and Jermaine Boyette scored 11.

Albirex BB 81, Brave Warriors 79 (OT)

In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, Nile Murry and Niigata outlasted Shinshu in overtime to complete a series sweep.

Murry had 22 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks in the Albirex triumph. Rodney Webb finished with 15 points and eight boards and Chris Holm had eight points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Kimitake Sato scored 13 points for Niigata (5-3).

Wayne Marshall scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Warriors (5-3). Jermaine Green scored 16 points and Takato Saito had 13 for Shinshu.

HeatDevils 92, Lakestars 80

In Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture, Wendell White once again showcased the excellent form that led him to an MVP trophy during the 2009-10 season for Hamamatsu, posting a 19-point, 19-rebound, five-assist performance to guide Oita past the struggling Lakestars.

Cyrus Tate and Naoto Takushi each scored 16 points for the HeatDevils, who improved to 7-1.

Oita center Taj Finger missed the series due to back spasms, but the team’s depth was a key factor in its two wins.

The HeatDevils’ Taishiro Shimizu scored 13 points on Sunday, Matt Lottich chipped in with 11 and Kazuya “J.” Hatano had nine.

For Shiga (3-5), Wayne Arnold was the leading scorer with 18 points, Takamichi Fujiwara scored 17, Dionisio Gomez had 14 and Shinya Ogawa nine.

The Lakestars have lost four games in a row.

Perhaps summing up the sentiments of his entire team, Arnold posted these words on Facebook after the game: “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

Big Bulls 95, Grouses 87

In Maruyama, Toyama Prefecture, Iwate bounced back from its first loss of the season with a big game from center Dillion Sneed (31 points) in a win over the Grouses to close out the weekend on a high note.

Carlos Dixon added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Reggie Okosa had 21 points and 14 boards for the Big Bulls (9-1), and Naoto Nakamura scored seven points.

Angel Garcia led the Grouses (6-4) with 23 points. Takeshi Mito scored 14 points, Masashi Joho had 13, Ira Brown added 11 and Brandon Cole 10. Garcia and Cole both fouled out.

Rizing 80, Five Arrows 67

In Fukuoka, Josh Peppers had 21 points and Reggie Warren added 18 points and 10 rebounds as the red-hot Rizing stretched their winning streak to five games.

Jun Nakanishi and Akitomo Takeno both scored 12 points for Fukuoka (5-3) and key backup Julius Ashby contributed six points and eight rebounds.

For Takamatsu (2-4), Dexter Lyons had 14 points and Paul Williams and Brandon Penn scored 13 points apiece.

B-Corsairs 76, Crane Thunders 63

In Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, Draelon Burns canned 5 of 7 3-pointers en route to 24 points and Yokohama improved to 4-2 under second-year coach Reggie Geary.

Gunma, an expansion team, fell to 0-10. For Ryan Blackwell, the former Osaka Evessa coach, the weekend series was his first as the new Crane Thunders bench boss.

Thomas Kennedy supplied 13 points, Masayuki Kabaya had 11 and Pape Faye Mour had eight for Yokohama.

Nyika Williams scored 14 points for Gunma, Thomas Granado had 12 and Lewis Witcher 11.

Jets 86, Broncos 78

In Saitama, despite John “Helicopter” Humphrey’s game-high 31 points, the Broncos suffered their fifth loss in six games to begin the season.

Chiba raised its record to 3-5 under bench boss Shinji Tomiyama.

D’Andre Bell and Marquin Chandler each scored 15 points for the Jets, Hiroki Sato and Kensuke Tanaka both had 14-point outings and Joe Werner poured in 12.

Takuma Yamashiro scored 13 points for Saitama and Randy Orr had 10.