Rebounding takes effort, hard work and determination.
The San-en NeoPhoenix demonstrated this winning formula in a 73-69 victory over the Niigata Albirex BB on Sunday.
The NeoPhoenix won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the hosts 50-44 in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture.
Six San-en players had four or more rebounds: Josh Childress (11), Robert Dozier (10), Shingo Okada (six), Olu Ashaolu (five) and Atsuya Ota and Tasuku Namizato (four apiece).
In addition to their potent rebounding performance, the NeoPhoenix dominated on the run (15-3 advantage in fast-break points) and inside (44-30 lead in points in the paint).
Dozier, a University of Memphis alum and Miami Heat draft pick in 2009, scored a game-high 28 points. Childress poured in 13 points and Ota had 10 on 5-for-6 shooting. Namizato didn’t miss a shot in the series finale, going 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 2-for-2 at the foul line.
Tatsuya Suzuki handed out four assists for the NeoPhoenix (31-26), who are locked in a duel with the Sunrockers Shibuya for the Central Division’s second seed for the upcoming playoffs.
For Niigata (25-32), Davante Gardner had 25 points and 18 rebounds and Kei Igarashi scored 14 with four assists.
Jets 90, Brex 84
In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Southeast Missouri State alum Tyler Stone’s 30-point performance and Chiba’s 3-point shooting prowess carried the club to its second win over the hosts in as many days.
Tochigi (44-13) trailed 71-54 entering the fourth quarter.
Chiba (41-16) buried 15 of 35 3s, with Stone knocking down 5 of 11 and Kosuke Ishii hitting 3 of 3. Yuki Togashi, who had 17 points and four assists, made 3 of 6, and Shuta Hara drained 3 of 5.
Michael Parker scored 13 points, blocked three shots and made two steals in 27-plus productive minutes for the Jets, who led 49-36 at halftime before a packed house of 4,058 at Brex Arena. Ishii had a team-high three steals. (Tochigi held Jets veteran guard Fumio Nishimura to zero points on 0-for-4 shooting a day after he lit up the scoreboard for 14 points.)Ryan Rossiter paced the Brex with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Takatoshi Furukawa had 13 points and Yutaro Suda scored 12. Tommy Brenton contributed five points, nine rebounds and seven assists off the bench. Naoya Kumagae and Hironori Watanabe both scored six points.
Alvark 68, 89ers 57
In Sendai, Tokyo never trailed and Daiki Tanaka’s 15-point afternoon helped the visitors complete a weekend sweep of the 89ers.
Ex-NBA guard Diante Garrett dominated with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Keijuro “K.J.” Matsui canned 3 of 5 3-point attempts en route to 13 points for the Alvark (42-15). Jeff Ayres chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Joji Takeuchi corralled 10 rebounds.
Greg Mangano had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Sendai (13-4), Tshilidzi Nephawe scored 10 points, Wendell White added eight and Masaharu Kataoka and Kaito Ishikawa both had seven.
Grouses 76, Sunrockers 72
In Tokyo, Drew Viney’s game-high 27 points and Sam Willard’s 18-point, 19-rebound effort provided a big spark in Toyama’s bounce-back win over Shibuya.
Yu Okada contributed 13 points and fellow guard Naoki Uto grabbed 10 rebounds for the Grouses (17-40).
For the Sunrockers (30-27), Robert Sacre had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Ira Brown scored 13 points with nine boards and R.T. Guinn added 11 points. Leo Vendrame and Yuki Mitsuhara both scored seven points.
Northern Happinets 79, Levanga 75
In Akita, shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, the Northern Happinets held off Hokkaido and salvaged a weekend split.
Shigehiro Taguchi had the hot hand from the perimeter, sinking 4 of 8 3s in a 15-point outing for Akita (18-39), while 22-year-old backup guard Takuya Nakayama, in his 19th game this season, added 14 points and two steals. Scott Morrison scored 11 points and Leo Lyons had 10 and four assists. Seiya Ando ignited the offense with eight assists to go along with nine points.
Daisuke Noguchi was the high scorer for the Levanga (22-35), putting 23 points on the board to match his jersey number. Former Arizona State center Jordan Bachynski added 12 points and 12 rebounds.
SeaHorses 77, Evessa 62
In Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, West Division champion Mikawa’s teamwork paid off, especially in distributing the basketball, as coach Kimikazu Suzuki’s club avenged Saturday’s loss against Osaka.
The SeaHorses (45-12) had five players with two or three assists. Shinsuke Kashiwagi, Makoto Hiejima and J.R. Sakuragi all handed out three assists, with Masaya Karimata and Toshikazu Kato adding two apiece.
Mikawa shot 55.6 percent from the field, with Hiejima topping the chart with 17 points. Gavin Edwards and Kosuke Kanamaru contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. Isaac Butts scored nine points and hauled in 10 rebounds. Sakuragi added eight points and eight boards.
Hiroyuki Kinoshita led the playoff berth-chasing Evessa (28-29) with 15 points and Xavier Gibson had 11 and three steals. Shota Konno finished with nine points and Takuya Hashimoto had eight.
Osaka was held to 35.4 percent shooting (23-for-75).
Lakestars 92, Diamond Dolphins 83
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, former Philadelphia 76er Craig Brackins delivered a 36-point, 10-rebound performance to guide the Lakestars to their third straight victory.
The Iowa State product made 14 of 23 shots, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. Teammate Julian Mavunga chipped in with 24 points, Faye Samba scored 12 and hauled in eight boards and Yusuke Karino had 10 points. Narito Namizato dished out six assists for Shiga (18-39).
For Nagoya (24-33), Jerome Tillman led the way with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Justin Burrell scored 18 points and Takaya Sasayma and Taito Nakahigashi both had 10.
It was a back-and-forth game, featuring 13 ties and eight lead changes.
Golden Kings 88, Hannaryz 55
In Okinawa City, Ryukyu jumped out to a 44-30 lead by halftime and put the game out of reach in the third quarter.
The Golden Kings (27-30) outscored Kyoto 21-7 in the third and earned a series split.
Reyshawn Terry had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the hosts. Shota Tsuyama scored 17 points and Ryuichi Kishimoto poured in 15. Lamont Hamilton finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Kazuya “J.” Hatano energized Ryukyu with nine rebounds and two blocks in 14-plus minutes off the bench. Shuhei Kitagawa and Anthony McHenry both had six points.
The Kings outrebounded Kyoto 52-31, and scored 18 second-chance points to the visitors’ six.
Mo Charlo paced the Hannaryz (25-32) with nine points and Kevin Kotzur had eight.
Kyoto shot just 31.7 percent (20 of 63) from the field.
Second-division update: Here are the results of Sunday’s games: Shimane Susanoo Magic 76, Kagawa Five Arrows 69; Fighting Eagles Nagoya 83, Nishinomiya Storks 59; Aomori Wat’s 69, Yamagata Wyverns 54; Gunma Crane Thunders 79, Iwate Big Bulls 59; Earthfriends Tokyo Z 76, Shinshu Brave Warriors 64; Tokyo Excellence 74, Bambitious Nara 72; Ehime Orange Vikings 99, Kagoshima Rebnise 76; and Hiroshima Dragonflies 73, Kumamoto Volters 72.