Basketball / B. League

Hokkaido outplays Nagoya in series opener

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Levanga Hokkaido big man Daniel Miller delivered a noteworthy performance at the defensive end of the court on Friday night.

The 211-cm Miller’s game-high 10 rebounds (nine defensive) and four blocks helped guide the Levanga Hokkaido to a series-opening 69-60 triumph over the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo.

For Hokkaido (6-16), it was far from a one-man show. Takehiko Orimo and Takanobu Nishikawa both scored 15 points and Jahmar Thorpe had 12 with seven rebounds. Asahi Tajima chipped in with eight points, as did Ryota Sakurai, who dished out four assists and made two steals. Miller, a Georgia Tech alum, finished with seven points on a night when he was held to 2-for-9 from the field and four assists.

Bridging the first two periods, the Levanga used a 11-0 spurt to take a 20-9 lead early in the second stanza.

The Diamond Dolphins trailed 32-23 at halftime, then cut it to 53-47 entering the fourth quarter.

Jerome Tillman paced Nagoya (12-10) with 18 points, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range, and grabbed seven rebounds. Justin Burrell, the 2011-12 bj-league MVP, added 15 points and nine boards, while Tenketsu Harimoto scored seven points. No other Diamond Dolphin scored more than five points.

Nash update: Forward Le’Bryan Nash, who led the bj-league in scoring during the 2015-16 campaign, the circuit’s 11th and final season, has appeared in 11 games to date for the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

The ex-Fukushima Firebonds and Oklahoma State standout, a second-year pro, is averaging 11.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

On the move: Former Oita HeatDevils and Firebonds playmaker Verdell Jones III has finalized a deal to start playing in France, according to a published report.

The Indiana University product will suit up for the Entente Orleans 45 in the France-Pro A league, the website reported on Thursday.

Last season, Jones played for the D-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors. The veteran guard appeared in 50 games and averaged 16.1 points and 3.8 assists.

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