The Toyota Alvark jumped out to a 26-8 lead by the end of the first quarter against the Ryukyu Golden Kings during Friday’s preseason game in Okinawa City.
The lopsided score vanished, but the Alvark, an NBL powerhouse team, held on for a 76-75 victory over the defending bj-league champion before an announced crowd of 3,223.
On Wednesday, Toyota defeated host Ryukyu 80-78 in the preseason opener for both teams.
Golden Kings guard Draelon Burns scored a game-high 27 points in the rematch, draining 5 of 8 3-point shots. Teammate Anthony McHenry had a sensational all-around game with 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, five blocks and two steals. McHenry also had five blocks in the series opener.
Ryuichi Kishimoto added 11 points for Ryukyu but struggled to knock down shots. He was 2-for-11 from beyond the arc and 3-for-14 from the field. Naoto Kosuge had an eight-point effort in the loss.
Toyota held the Kings to 12-for-31 shooting from 2-point range.
Swingman Naoki Uto paced the Alvark with 23 points and Keijuro Matsui and Xavier Gibson had 14 points apiece. Gibson, who played for the bj-league’s Shinshu Brave Warriors, last season added 12 boards and three blocks.
Toyota coach Don Beck’s squad out-rebounded the hosts 50-42.
Ryukyu trailed 41-28 at halftime, then chipped away at the lead over the final two quarters. The Kings had 35 fourth-quarter points and held the Alvark to 25.
Takamatsu update: Floor leader Dexter Lyons, a gifted scorer and playmaker, has announced he won’t play for the Five Arrows this season. He recently informed the team of his plans to sit out the season in order to tend to family matters.
Lyons attended the University of Central Florida. He played the past two seasons for Takamatsu and competed for the now-defunct Miyazaki Shining Suns in 2011-12.