• Staff Report


The Aisin SeaHorses eliminated the reigning NBL champion Toshiba Brave Thunders from the postseason with a 88-38 win in Game 2 of their best-of-three first round series at Wing Arena Kariya on Sunday.

Game 1 hero Kosuke Kanamaru shined again, scoring 26 points with 6-for-12 3-point shooting, for the SeaHorses in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture. The Western Conference’s No. 1 squad (43-11 regular-season record) out-rebounded Toshiba 55-39.

For an injury-ridden Toshiba squad, which was held to just two points in the first quarter, guard Yuma Fujii scored 19 points, sinking five 3s. The Brave Thunders played without last year’s season MVP Nick Fazekas, who got a stress fracture in one of his legs late in the season, along with some other key players, including point guard Ryusei Shinoyama and forward Cedric Bozeman.

Brave Thunders sharpshooter Naoto Tsuji, the MVP of last season’s NBL Finals, finished with just two points for the Kawasaki-based team.

Brex 80, Dragonflies 74

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Link Tochigi’s American forward Ryan Rossiter had 28 points and 14 rebounds to help Link Tochigi complete a 2-0 sweep of expansion club Hiroshima.

Takatoshi Furukawa and Kyle Barone added 15 points apiece while star guard Yuta Tabuse followed with 11 points for the Brex.

Former University of Texas big man Clint Chapman had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Dragonflies, who entered the postseason with the worst record (21-33) among eight participants.

Alvark 102, Diamond Dolphins 73

In Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, a pair of Japanese players boosted the Alvark with their 3-point shooting as Toyota tamed Mitsubishi.

Daiki Tanaka had a game-high 32 points, going 7-for-8 from behind the 3-point arc while Keijuro “K.J.” Matsui hit 5 of his 7 3-point shots in a 21-point performance for the Alvark, who have won 25 straight games.

All four first-round series ended in sweeps.

Next weekend, the Hitachi Sunrockers will host the Alvark while, Aisin will take on the Brex in Aichi Prefecture in best-of-three second round matchups.

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