When it mattered most, Takuya Kawamura had the ball and the spotlight on Saturday night.
All eyes were on him.
The veteran shooting guard delivered a game-winning jumper at the buzzer as the Yokohama B-Corsairs defeated the Chiba Jets 72-70. With 2 seconds remaining, Chiba’s Yuki Togashi had tied it up at 70-70 with a 3-pointer, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
Kawamura finished with 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.
Jeff Parmer came off the bench and led the B-Corsairs (13-21) with 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting, pulled down seven rebounds and blocked two shots at Yokohama International Swimming Pool. Frontcourt mate Faye Pape Mour added 15 points and 13 rebounds and Jason Washburn scored 10 points.
“Tonight’s win was a huge team effort,” Parmer told The Japan Times. “It shows us that we’re capable of beating any team in this league as long as we play the right way consistently on a nightly basis.
“This win was very important for us as a team because we’re now on a three-game winning streak at the moment and we want to continue this streak to help with our team’s confidence.”
Tyler Stone was the high scorer for Chiba (22-12), finishing with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and five assists. Togashi and Hilton Armstrong each scored 12 points, the latter also grabbing 12 rebounds. Michael Parker contributed 11 points and eight boards.
Hannaryz 98, Grouses 87
In Kyoto, Hayato Kawashima scored 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting and dished out four assists and Marcus Dove had 19 points and nine rebounds as the Hannaryz held off Toyama.
Kevin Kotzur contributed 13 points and eight boards with four assists. Shingo Utsumi scored 11 points making 3 of 4 3s. Koki Yabuuchi had 10 points for Kyoto (16-18).
The Hannaryz chalked up 18 assists against seven turnovers.
Masashi Joho and Dexter Pittman paced the Grouses (8-26) with 19 points apiece. Takeshi Mito had 13 points and Drew Viney 11.
NeoPhoenix 73, 89ers 63
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Sendai raced out to a 15-0 lead to open the game, but San-en regrouped and picked up a win.
The NeoPhoenix (2-14) took a 51-42 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Former NBA forward Josh Childress led the hosts with 17 points and corralled 10 rebounds. Robert Dozier chipped in with 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Shingo Okada had nine points and Tatsuya Suzuki and Junki Kano both scored eight. Suzuki was second on the team in assists (five).
Wendell White and Tshilidzi Nephawe had 16 points apiece for the 89ers (9-25) and Masaharu Kataoka scored 13 points.
Nephawe grabbed 16 rebounds.
Sendai missed 14 of 16 3-point chances.
SeaHorses 91, Albirex BB 74
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Mikawa’s stellar rebounding paid off in a win over the hosts.
The SeaHorses grabbed 40 rebounds and held Niigata to 27.
Gavin Edwards had a team-best 21 points and hauled in eight boards, matching teammate J.R. Sakuragi’s total.
Kosuke Kanamaru and Sakuragi each scored 15 points and Mikawa converted 63.3 percent of its shots (31 of 49) from inside the arc. Isaac Butts and Ryoma Hashimoto finished with nine points apiece, and Makoto Hiejima and Sakuragi both handed out six assists.
For the Albirex (18-17), Davante Gardner and Clint Chapman scored 24 and 21 points, respectively. Shunki Hatakeyama added 14 points and four steals.
Brave Thunders 79, Golden Kings 55
In Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Kawasaki star Nick Fazekas ignited his club with 24 points and 16 rebounds, game-high totals in both categories, in a runaway victory over Ryukyu.
Mamadou Diouf added 12 points and 11 boards with three assists and three steals for the Brave Thunders (30-5) and Yuma Fujii, Ryusei Shinoyama and Takumi Hasegawa supplied eight points apiece. Shinoyama dished out eight assists.
Kawasaki secured the victory by outscoring the visitors 42-22 in the paint.
Ryuichi Kishimoto and Lamont Hamilton both scored 10 points for the Golden Kings (15-20).
Brex 86, Evessa 57
In Osaka, Tochigi jumped out to a 43-26 lead by halftime and cruised past the Evessa.
The Brex (25-7) shot exactly 50 percent from the field in the series opener.
Jeff Gibbs led Tochigi with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Takatoshi Furukawa contributed 12 points, Naoya Kumagae had 11 and Ryan Rossiter scored 10 and collected 10 rebounds. Kosuke Takeuchi and Yuta Tabuse scored nine and eight points, respectively, as the Brex’s deep bench proved to be a key factor in the win. Tommy Brenton doled out six assists and Tabuse and Hironori Watanabe both had five.
For Osaka (18-16), Xavier Gibson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Takuya Soma scored 11 points.
Levanga 69, Sunrockers 60
In Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture, Asahi Tajima’s 13-point effort and Ryota Sakurai’s nine points and six assists helped lead the hosts past Shibuya.
Takanobu Nishikawa chipped in with eight points for Hokkaido (11-24), while Daniel Miller and Jahmar Thorpe both had seven points. Thorpe finished with nine rebounds and three blocks. Miller also swatted three shots.
The Levanga held the Sunrockers to 3-for-17 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. Overall, the visitors shot 35.9 percent from the field.
Robert Sacre paced Shibuya (15-18) with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Leo Vendrame and Ira Brown both had 10 points and Kenta Hirose scored eight.
Lakestars 84, Northern Happinets 61
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Julian Mavunga’s double-double and Tomonobu Hasegawa’s 16-point outing sparked the hosts in a rout of Akita.
Mavunga, a Miami (Ohio) University alum, had 19 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Lakestars (7-28). Floor leader Narito Namizato chipped in with 13 points and six assists for Shiga, which outscored the Northern Happinets 32-13 in the pivotal third quarter.
Yusuke Karino added 11 points for the Lakestars.
Shigehiro Taguchi canned 5 of 10 3s in a 19-point performance for Akita (8-27) and Evan Ravenel scored 13 points.
Alvark 90, Diamond Dolphins 86
In Tokyo, Alvark coach Takuma Ito’s squad had five double-digit scorers and answered every challenge in a narrow victory over Nagoya.
There were 14 lead changes and five ties in the down-to-the-wire series opener.
Diante Garrett paced Tokyo (27-6) with 24 points and six assists and Zack Baranski chipped in with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 3 of 5 from long range. Takeki Shonaka also had the hot hand from the perimeter, knocking down 4 of 5 3-point shots. Shonaka scored 12 points.
Joji Takeuchi and Shohei Kikuchi each had 10 points for the hosts.
Jerome Tillman buried 5 of 6 3s and had a team-high 25 points for the Diamond Dolphins (20-15). Tenketsu Harimoto had 14 points and Jordan Bachynski scored 13 and grabbed 11 rebounds. Takumi Ishizaki contributed 11 points and five assists.
Nagoya shot 6 of 12 at the free-throw line.
Second-division update: In Saturday’s B2 games, here are the results; Tokyo Excellence 74, Iwate Big Bulls 67; Kagoshima Rebnise 79, Fighting Eagles Nagoya 75; Shimane Susanoo Magic 69, Gunma Crane Thunders 49; Bambitious Nara 75, Aomori Wat’s 73; Hiroshima Dragonflies 83, Shinshu Brave Warriors 77; Ehime Orange Vikings 89, Ibaraki Robots 72; Yamagata Wyverns 68, Kumamoto Volters 60; Nishinomiya Storks 87, Kagawa Five Arrows 68; and Earthfriends Tokyo Z 82, Fukushima Firebonds 75.