Two former NBL powerhouse teams squared off on Saturday in one of the early marquee matchups of the B. League’s inaugural season, and coach Tom Wisman’s Tochigi Brex made a statement.
The hosts delivered an impressive effort against their East Division foe, handing the Tokyo Alvark a 96-76 setback at Brex Arena Utsunomiya.
The Alvark (7-2) trailed 29-15 after the opening quarter and 47-34 at halftime.
Ryan Rossiter, a Siena College alum, paced Tochigi (8-1) with 34 points, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jeff Gibbs and Yusuke Endo both scored 13 points. Gibbs, a former Alvark player, also finished with seven boards and three assists. Kosuke Takeuchi had 10 points and seven rebounds against his twin brother’s team. Hironori Watanabe scored nine points and Yuta Tabuse chipped in with eight and eight assists.
The Brex drained 9 of 16 3s in the win. They used a 13-0 run to take a 45-21 lead in the second quarter.
For Tokyo, Troy Gillenwater scored 22 points and Diante Garrett added 16. Daiki Tanaka poured in nine points and Joji Takeuchi had eight points and 10 rebounds.
There were only four lead changes in the contest.
The Brex capitalized on the Alvark’s mistakes, scoring 11 points off Tokyo turnovers.
SeaHorses 66, Hannaryz 37
In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Mikawa held Kyoto to 0-for-16 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc en route to a runaway win.
Center Isaac Butts had 14 points and 19 rebounds for the SeaHorses (6-3), who led 51-25 after three quarters. Tomoya Hasegawa had an 11-point effort, while J.R. Sakuragi provided nine points and four assists.
Kevin Kotzur led the Hannaryz (3-6) with eight points and 11 rebounds.
Kyoto shot 16-for-62 from the field.
Mikawa out-rebounded the visitors 48-39.
NeoPhoenix 70, Sunrockers 68
In Hamamatsu, Richard Roby buried two free throws with 10 seconds left to lift San-en to a down-to-the-wire triumph over Shibuya.
Robert Dozier had a team-high 23 points and eight rebounds for the NeoPhoenix (7-2) and Tatsuya Suzuki scored nine points with three assists and three steals. Atsuya Ota and Shuto Tawatari both had eight points, with Olu Ashaolu contributing seven.
RT Guinn led the Sunrockers (5-4) with 19 points and Aki Chambers and Takashi Ito both had 15. Yuki Mitsuhara had a 12-point effort.
Shibuya, which doled out 12 assists, turned the ball over 15 times.
Evessa 76, Lakestars 60
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Osaka heaped more misery on the struggling hosts.
The Evessa outscored the Lakestars 39-22 over the middle two quarters to seize control of the game.
Former NBA center Josh Harrellson scored 24 points for Osaka (3-6) and also grabbed a game-best 17 rebounds. He made 6 of 11 3s.
Takuya Soma and Xavier Gibson added 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Evessa.
Julian Mavunga was the top scorer for Shiga (1-8), finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Yusuke Karino scored 11 points and Yutaka Yokoe had 10.
Osaka raked in 39 rebounds and held Shiga to 29.
Jets 80, Levanga 65
In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, Hokkaido had no answer for the Jets’ high-octane offense in the series opener.
Chiba (4-5) torched the visitors from the perimeter, draining 15 of 28 3-point shots, including Ryumo Ono’s 5-for-7 effort and Kosuke Ishii’s 4-for-8.
Ono scored a game-high 21 points, while Ishii and Tyler Stone both had 15. Michael Parker and Yuki Togashi both finished with 10-point performances. Togashi, who played for the NBA Development League’s Texas Legends two seasons ago, dished out 10 assists with no turnovers.
Chiba’s Hilton Armstrong, a former NBA center, contributed six rebounds, 10 rebounds and three steals. Like Parker, Armstrong had a pair of dunks in the contest, much to the delight of the 4,305-partisan crowd at Funabashi Arena.
For the Levanga (3-6), Daisuke Noguchi had a 20-point effort and Takanobu Nishikawa scored 13 points. Daniel Miller added 10 points and Asahi Tajima handed out seven assists.
89ers 66, Northern Happinets 63
In Sendai, Takehiko Shimura sank a pair of free throws — his only points of the game — to pull his team ahead with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter in a victory over Tohoku rival Akita.
Dion Wright led the 89ers (4-5) with 17 points, including a basket with 18 seconds left that accounted for the game’s final margin, and hauled in seven rebounds. Fellow newcomer Tshilidzi Nephawe notched a double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Dieye Sakamoto had 10 points, while Masaharu Kataoka finished with seven.
For the Northern Happinets (2-7), Deshawn Stephens was the high scorer with 16 points and Seiya Ando added 10. Kevin Palmer and Tatsunori Fujie had seven points apiece.
Akita made 9 of 15 free throws.
Golden Kings 71, Diamond Dolphins 58
In Okinawa City, Shuhei Kitagawa’s 22-point effort and Ryukyu’s balanced offense guided the Golden Kings past Nagoya.
Shigeyuki Kinjo had nine points, and Lamont Hamilton followed with eight and six rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Anthony McHenry, who led the Kings (6-3) with 10 boards, Shota Tsuyama and Ryuichi Kishimoto all scored six points.
The Diamond Dolphins (7-2) shot 7-for-17 at the free-throw line. Justin Burrell, who had a team-high 19 points, was 7-for-7. Tenketsu Horimoto added 11 points and Takaya Sasayama scored eight. Jerome Tillman’s free-throw struggles (0-for-6) limited his scoring output to six points.
Brave Thunders 112, Grouses 90
In Kawasaki, MVP candidate Nick Fazekas carried the hosts to their second victory in as many days over the Grouses, providing a 39-point, 15-rebound performance.
Fazekas shot 13-for-18 from the field and sank 11 of 14 free throws.
As a team, Kawasaki (8-2) shot 72.5 percent from 2-point range, making 36 of 50 shots.
Ryan Spangler scored 16 points and Mamadou Diouf added 13 for the Brave Thunders, while Yuma Fujii had 11.
Masashi Joho paced Toyama (1-9) with 18 points and Sam Willard scored 17 and grabbed seven boards, Earl Barron and Ryo Yamazaki had 12 points apiece and Naoki Uto contributed 10 points and five assists.
The Grouses knocked down 14 of 27 3s on the night.
Kawasaki out-rebounded the visitors 38-23 at Todoroki Arena.
Albirex BB 80, B-Corsairs 75
In Yokohama, Davante Gardner scored 18 points and Clint Chapman had 16 as Niigata prevailed against the B-Corsairs.
Kimitake Sato canned 4 of 5 3s in a 14-point effort and Stephan Van Treese, a former University of Louisville big man, chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds for the Albirex (4-5).
Jason Washburn had 21 points and nine rebounds for Yokohama (3-6) and Masashi Hosoya added 13 points. Jeff Parmer contributed 11 points and 10 boards and Takuya Kawamura had 10 points and five assists.
Second-division update: Here are Saturday’s B2 results: Shimane Susanoo Magic 89, Kagawa Five Arrows 58; Iwate Big Bulls 67, Yamagata Wyverns 55; Earthfriends Tokyo Z 78, Shinshu Brave Warriors 74; Nishinomiya Storks 89, Bambitious Nara 83; Kumamoto Volters 83; Ehime Orange Vikings 71; Fighting Eagles Nagoya 77, Tokyo Excellence 67; Hiroshima Dragonflies 89; Kagoshima Rebnise 75; Fukushima Firebonds 88, Aomori Wat’s 80; and Gunma Crane Thunders 81, Ibaraki Robots 69.
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