The Osaka Evessa improved to .500 with their first series sweep of the young season by beating the Bambitious Nara 83-67 on Sunday.
Osaka’s Olu Ashaolu had 23 points on 10-for-11 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds with three assists, two steals and two blocks. Shota Konno and Takuya Soma each had 16 points for the Evessa, who led 33-16 after one quarter. Narito Namizato dished out 11 assists with one turnover on the afternoon in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture.
Tatsuya Suzuki had 10 assists for Nara (0-4). Josh Ritchert led the hosts with 15 points.
Under first-year head coach Dai Oketani, the Evessa opened the season with a pair of losses last weekend against the Shiga Lakestars.
Osaka brought big aspirations into the season, with Oketani, a two-time bj-league title-winning coach while at the helm of the Ryukyu Golden Kings from 2008-12, returning to his Kansai roots to lead the Evessa. He spent the previous three seasons on the Iwate Big Bulls bench.
Big Bulls 78, Broncos 55
In Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture, Abdullahi Kuso led the hosts with 19 points and 15 rebounds and James Siakam added 14 points as the Big Bulls (3-1) completed a weekend sweep of Saitama.
Evan Harris paced the Broncos (0-4) with 12 points.
Firebonds 93, Grouses 90 (OT)
In Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, the Firebonds prevailed in overtime against Toyama to collect their second victory in as many days.
Rookie forward Le’Bryan Nash had 34 points, his fourth game with 30 or more points, for Fukushima (3-1) and Stephan Van Treese chipped in with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, while Kenya Tomori had 11 points. Atushi Nogami and Masaya Karimata both had eight points, with Karimata dishing out a team-high five assists.
For Toyama (2-2), Masashi Joho had 32 points and eight assists and Drew Viney poured in 23 points. Duke Crews (12 points) and Sam Willard (12 points, 20 rebounds) both had productive games for the Grouses.
Albirex BB 89, B-Corsairs 74
In Niigata, Charles Hinkle sank five 3-pointers in a 34-point performance and Faye Pape Mour supplied 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to lead the Albirex past Yokohama.
Shuhei Komatsu finished with 12 points for Niigata (4-0), while Kimitake Sato provided nine points, seven assists and four steals.
The Albirex chalked up 28 assists with eight turnovers in the series finale.
Cory Johnson paced the B-Corsairs (1-3) with 26 points and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts added 16 points and 15 rebounds. Kenji Yamada added nine points and six assists.
Northern Happinets 76, Crane Thunders 61
In Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture, Akita won the battle on the boards and bounced back from a Saturday loss.
Ray Turner was the Happinets’ leading rebounder (10 boards) and also topped the chart in scoring (24 points). Richard Roby and Shigehiro Taguchi had 17 and 15 points, respectively, for Akita (3-1).
Patrick Sullivan scored 17 points for Gunma (3-1) and Thomas Kennedy and Michael St. John each had nine. Masashi Obuchi doled out six assists.
Lakestars 73, Golden Kings 70
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, power forward Julian Mavunga’s 20-point, 16-rebound effort and Yu Okada’s 19 points keyed the Lakestars’ narrow triumph over Ryukyu, giving the hosts a weekend split.
Kejuan Johnson and Kazuya “J.” Hatano contributed 14 points apiece for Shiga (3-1).
Ryuichi Kishimoto was the high scorer for the Golden Kings (3-1), finishing with 19 points, and Evan Ravenel had 16 points. Shuhei Kitagawa made five steals.
Phoenix 75, Hannaryz 72 (OT)
In Kyoto, Terrance Woodbury played an integral role at the free-throw line, knocking down 11 of 13 shots, and defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa salvaged a series split with an OT win over the rival Hannaryz.
Woodbury, a University of Georgia alum, had a game-high 24 points. Reggie Warren added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Phoenix (2-2) and big man Atsuya Ota, a Japan national team center, scored 14 points.
Larry Owens had 22 points for Kyoto (2-2) and David Palmer and Kevin Kotzur both scored 12.
Susanoo Magic 77, Samuraiz 72
In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, balanced scoring guided the hosts past Kanazawa.
Shimane improved to 4-0 on a day when Edward Yamamoto had 22 points and Tatsuhiko Yokoo put 18 on the board. Scootie Randall added 17 points, Josh Davis supplied 10 points and 19 rebounds and Naoto Takushi handed out seven assists.
For the Samuraiz (1-3), Andrew Fitzgerald led the first-year squad with 18 points and Yusuke Kodera continued his hot shooting from the perimeter with a 15-point effort. Kodera finished the series 9-for-9 from 3-point range.
Five Arrows 91, HeatDevils 86
In Takamatsu, Masaaki Suzuki’s 21 points and 10 assists sparked the Five Arrows in their second weekend triumph over Oita Ehime.
Masamune Tate had 19 points for Takamatsu (3-1) and Nino Johnson notched a double-double (13 points, 18 boards).
Chehales Tapscott led the HeatDevils (1-3) with 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Rizing 105, Lightning 75
In Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Josh Peppers and Donnavan Kirk had matching 22-point outings and Cohey Aoki buried four 3s in a 16-point effort as the hosts trounced Hiroshima.
Kirk hauled in 13 rebounds and Taishiro Shimizu had seven assists for Fukuoka (3-1).
Andre Murray led the Lightning (0-4) with 25 points and Adam Herman scored 16.
89ers 85, Cinq Reves 66
In Sendai, Takehiko Shimura dished out 10 assists without a turnover and Jamal Boykin had 24 points and 13 rebounds in the 89ers’ rout of Tokyo.
Swingman Masaharu Kataoka poured in 17 points for Sendai (4-0), while Wendell White picked up five steals.
Hadji Ndieguene and Tomoyuki Shinzato both scored 11 points for Tokyo (0-4).
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