For one quarter, the Yokohama B-Corsairs were in striking distance of the Kawasaki Brave Thunders.
That changed quickly.
The title-chasing Brave Thunders more than doubled their lead in the second quarter en route to a 92-63 series-opening victory at Todoroki Arena in Kawasaki on Friday night.
MVP candidate Nick Fazekas scored a game-high 26 points and corralled 12 rebounds and frontcourt mate Ryan Spangler had 18 points, including three dunks, and 12 rebounds to spark the hosts. Naoto Tsuji sank 4 of 6 3s in an efficient 14-point outing for the Brave Thunders (46-10), and Yuma Fujii had 13 points, draining 3 of 5 long-range shots.
Kawasaki’s Ryusei Shinoyama chipped in with seven points and three assists, Takumi Hasegawa handed out six assists and Hiroki Taniguchi, who did not score, dished out four assists. Showcasing the team’s depth, veteran backup forward Mamadou Diouf chipped in with six points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in just under 15 minutes of court time.
Kawasaki took a 75-46 lead into the fourth quarter.
Faye Pape Mour paced the B-Corsairs (16-40) with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jason Washburn and Jeff Parmer each scored nine points and Takuya Kawamura finished with seven points and four assists.Ken Takeda matched Kawamura’s scoring output.
Parmer, who turned 32 on Thursday, also had eight rebounds and three blocks.
Yokohama missed 17 of 20 3-point attempts and shot 37.9 percent overall.
The Brave Thunders outrebounded the visitors 43-37. They had 21 assists against seven turnovers. Their high-energy performance also led to 19 second-chance points; Yokohama had eight before an announced crowd of 3,011.