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Defensive effort carries Hannaryz past Evessa

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Kyoto Hannaryz swatted seven shots and defense fueled their 73-70 victory over the visiting Osaka Evessa on Friday night.

The Hannaryz (8-3) trailed by five points after the first quarter. Coach Honoo Hamaguchi’s club outscored the visitors 28-19 in the second period to grab momentum and a four-point advantage at Hannaryz Arena entering intermission.

Kyoto shot 50 percent from inside the arc. Takuya Komoda had a team-high 20 points on 9-for-16 shooting and former NBA forward Larry Owens contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.

Kevin Kotzur added 13 points, 12 boards and two blocks for the hosts, while Hikaru Kusaka sank three 3s en route to a nine-point night.

The Hannaryz out-rebounded the Evessa 48-41.

Kyoto limited the Osaka (9-4) to four 3-pointers on the night.

Lawrence “Trend” Blackledge paced the Evessa with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. His teammates combined for only four more assists.

Narito Namizato finished with 13 points and four steals and Olu Ashaolu and Shota Konno both had 11 points for Osaka, whose four-game winning streak ended.

The Evessa had zero blocked shots in the series opener.

Roster moves: The Tokyo Cinq Reves (1-11) have added power forward/center Marvin Williams, a former University of Louisiana at Monroe player, the Eastern Conference squad has announced.

The 22-year-old Williams replaces big man El Hadji Ndieguene, who left the team after 12 games.

The Cinq Reves have also picked up forward Marcus Johnson, a 28-year-old USC product. Johnson fills a roster spot left by the departed Ryan Sypkens, who only saw action in four games for the Cinq Reves.

Elsewhere, center Travis Derochowski of the Oita Ehime HeatDevils was released this week. He averaged 0.5 points and 6 minutes in four games.

The HeatDevils are 2-10 through Sunday.