Basketball / B. League

NeoPhoenix's defense shines in triumph over B-Corsairs

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The San-en NeoPhoenix delivered an impressive defensive performance on Saturday in their series opener against the struggling Yokohama B-Corsairs.

First-year NeoPhoenix head coach Hiroki Fujita’s team rejected nine shots, with six players blocking one or more attempts in a 71-62 home victory.

San-en, the 18-team top division’s lone unbeaten team, improved to 5-0, while Yokohama fell to 0-5.

Newcomer Richard Roby led the NeoPhoenix with 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots, while power forward Robert Dozier finished with 11 points, 17 rebounds and a pair of blocks for the hosts. Center Atsuya Ota added 10 points and Shuto Tawatari poured in seven at Toyohashi Municipal Gymnasium.

For the B-Corsairs, Jason Washburn had a team-high 22 points with 10 rebounds. Takuya Kawamura added 17 points, but was 2-for-9 from 3-point range. Jeff Parmer scored 10 points and collected 12 rebounds.

Yokohama missed 17 of 20 3-point attempts.

Sunrockers 79, Grouses 61

In Tokyo, Shibuya outscored Toyama 22-12 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Veteran forward Ira Brown paced the Sunrockers (4-1) with 13 points and hauled in six rebounds. RT Guinn, Leo Vendrame and Aki Chambers all finished with 11 points apiece, with Vendrame canning 3 of 4 3-point shots. Soichiro Fujitaka scored 10 points. Kenta Hirose supplied eight points and five assists.

Shibuya converted 20 of 32 shots (62.5 percent) from inside the arc.

The Grouses (1-4) committed 19 turnovers and had 10 assists.

Toyama’s Sam Willard scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Earl Barron scored 11 points and Masashi Joho and Yu Okada each had 10.

Hannaryz 71, Lakestars 61

In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Kyoto held the hosts to eight fourth-quarter points en route to victory.

The Hannaryz’s fourth-quarter point total? Twenty.

Kevin Kotzur notched a double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds) for Kyoto (3-2). Lawrence Hill added 14 points and Marcus Dove and Hayato Kawashima both had eight.

Ten players put points on the board for the Hannaryz.

Shiga (0-5) misfired on 17 of 19 3-point attempts.

Tomonobu Hasegawa led the Lakestars with 12 points and Faye Samba had 11. Julian Mavunga added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Jets 80, Alvark 76

In Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Chiba overcame a 12-point halftime deficit and handed the Alvark their first loss of the season.

The Jets (2-3) closed out the game with a 27-point fourth quarter and held the hosts to 18 points in the decisive final stanza.

Ryumo Ono drained four 3s in a 17-point effort for Chiba, while Michael Parker scored 15 points and raked in nine boards. Yuki Togashi added 14 points and former NBA center Hilton Armstrong had 12 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks.

For Tokyo (4-1), Troy Gillenwater had 21 points and Diante Garrett scored 13. Joji Takeuchi chipped in with 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks and Zack Baranski had nine points. Keijuro Matsui also had nine points, sinking three 3s.

Brave Thunders 77, Albirex BB 63

In Kawasaki, the hosts’ dominant rebounding secured their second win in as many days over Niigata.

The Brave Thunders (4-2) won the battle on the boards by a 47-30 margin.

Kawasaki center Nick Fazekas had a team-best 26 points on 11-for-16 shooting with 19 rebounds. Ryan Spangler added 14 points and 12 rebounds and Yuma Fujii scored eight points.

For the Albirex (2-4), center Davante Gardner scored 20 points and Kei Igarashi had 15. Stephan Van Treese added 10 points and five steals.

SeaHorses 89, Golden Kings 69

In Okinawa City, Mikawa stormed past the hosts in the fourth quarter, scoring 29 points over the final 10 minutes.

Swingman Kosuke Kanamaru paced the SeaHorses (3-2) with 25 points and ex-NBA forward J.R. Sakuragi had 16, as did Gavin Edwards. Makoto Hiejima contributed 13 points and Masaya Karimata had 10. Isaac Butts hauled in 12 rebounds in the series opener.

For Ryukyu (2-3), Lamont Hamilton scored 13 points and Mo Charlo added 12. Ryuichi Kishimoto and Shuhei Kitagawa each had nine points, while Anthony McHenry and Kazuya “J.” Hatano both scored eight.

The Golden Kings were held to 11 points in the final quarter.

Brex 108, 89ers 56

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, the hosts’ offensive clicked like a high-performance sports car in an impressive victory over Sendai.

Tochigi (4-1) dished out 30 assists against 15 turnovers, nailed 10 of 15 3-point shots and made 36 of 64 from inside the arc.

Hironori Watanabe ignited the Brex’s balanced attack with 16 points, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers. Jeff Gibbs added 14 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Yutaro Suda and Naoya Kumagae had 10 points apiece and Kosuke Takeuchi and Ryan Rossiter each scored nine. Yusuke Endo contributed eight points and six assists and Tommy Brenton scored eight points in the rout. Yuta Tabuse added seven points, four steals, two assists and a block. Takatoshi Furukawa matched Tabuse’s scoring output.

Sendai (3-2) trailed 25-8 after one quarter, 57-16 at the break and 77-33 entering the final period.

Dion Wright led the 89ers with 22 points and nine rebounds and Kaito Ishikawa had 12 points.

Tochigi held the visitors to 23-for-63 shooting.

Diamond Dolphins 68, Evessa 57

In Nagoya, star post player Justin Burrell, a St. John’s University alum, delivered a 23-point, nine-rebound, six-block performance to lead the hosts past Osaka.

Burrell made 9 of 13 shots from the field.

Takaya Sasayama canned 5 of 7 3s in a 17-point performance and doled out five assists for the Diamond Dolphins (4-1) and Jerome Tillman had 13 points and seven boards. Taito Nakahigashi added 10 points.

For the Evessa (2-3), Josh Harrellson had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Takuya Soma scored 12 points.

Osaka struggled to find its rhythm on offense, and the Evessa shot 28.6 percent from 2-point range.

Saturday’s second-division results: Hiroshima Dragonflies 86, Kagawa Five Arrows 76; Shimane Susanoo Magic 66, Kumamoto Volters 56; Aomori Wat’s 83, Iwate Big Bulls 66; Gunma Crane Thunders 74, Fukushima Firebonds 64; Fighting Eagles Nagoya 83, Bambitious Nara 61; Ehime Orange Vikings 95, Kagoshima Rebnise 73; Ibaraki Robots 87, Yamagata Wyverns 64; Nishinomiya Storks 83, Earthfriends Tokyo Z 66; and Shinshu Brave Warriors 78, Tokyo Excellence 66.

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