Basketball / B. League

B-Corsairs storm past Lakestars for first win of season

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Yokohama B-Corsairs turned up the defensive intensity on Saturday afternoon in their rematch against the Shiga Lakestars.

Fueled by effective defense, new B-Corsairs head coach Satoru Furuta’s team trounced the Lakestars 76-45 at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium.

It was Furuta’s first regular-season win with Yokohama, coming a day after Shiga defeated the hosts 73-56.

A day later, the Lakestars shot only 23.1 percent from the field, including 5 of 30 from 3-point range.

Alexis Minatoya scored a game-best 22 points for Yokohama, which led 56-34 entering the fourth quarter. Teammate Takuya Kawamura had 16 points and four assists. Jason Washburn added nine points and center Hasheem Thabeet, the Memphis Grizzlies’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and Ryo Tawatari both had eight points.

Thabeet, a University of Connecticut product and native of Tanzania, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked a shot in 20-plus minutes.

Jeff Parmer chipped in with six points, seven boards and four steals for Yokohama.

Shiga center Omar Samhan, a Saint Mary’s College alum, scored 15 points and hauled in 10 boards. Yusuke Karino had seven points. Newcomer D’or Fischer raked in 11 rebounds and blocked three shots.

The B-Corsairs dominated inside, outscoring the visitors 30-10 in the paint.

Brave Thunders 87, Diamond Dolphins 85 (OT)

In Kawasaki, the Brave Thunders avenged Friday’s one-point loss, outlasting Nagoya in overtime.

Nick Fazekas, the B. League’s 2016-17 MVP and top scorer, had a game-high 27 points and 15 rebounds to spark the Brave Thunders. Teammate Ryusei Shinoyama finished with 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting and doled out six assists. Offseason acquisition Josh Davis provided 14 points, nine boards and two blocks, with Naoto Tsuji matching Davis’ scoring output.

For Nagoya, Jerome Tillman scored 15 points and Justin Burrell had 14 and nine rebounds. Tenketsu Harimoto added 12 points and Shuto Ando had 11, while Craig Brackins put 10 on the board.

It was a tight game throughout. Neither team led by double digits.

Alvark 81, Evessa 60

In Osaka, Tokyo outscored the hosts 43-27 in the second half to secure a season-opening victory for new sideline supervisor Luka Pavicevic.

The Alvark used balanced scoring and strong rebounding (46-34 overall advantage) to rout the hosts.

Ex-NBA forward Jawad Williams led Tokyo with 15 points and former University of Kansas player Landen Lucas had 12 points, five rebounds and a block in 18-plus minutes in his regular-season debut for the Alvark. Alex Kirk added 11 points and Joji Takeuchi and Takeki Shonaka had 10 apiece.

Five Alvark players had two or more assists, with Seiya Ando topping the chart with three.

Tokyo scored 50 points in the paint while limiting Osaka to 28.

Both teams shot 2-for-14 from 3-point range.

Greg Smith led the Evessa with 19 points and Takuya Hashimoto had nine. Gyno Pomare corralled nine rebounds in his Evessa debut.

Albirex BB 82, Susanoo Magic 75

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, center Davante Gardner scored a game-high 28 points, pulled down nine boards and swatted three shots to lead the hosts past Shimane.

Gardner sank 10 of 12 free throws as Niigata won its first game of the new campaign.

The Albirex made 17 of 19 fouls shots.

Point guard Kei Igarashi had 13 points and Shunki Hatakeyama and newcomer Jun Uzawa poured in 11 apiece for Niigata, which trailed 27-16 after one quarter.

The Albirex outscored the Susanoo Magic 24-14 in the third quarter to take a 63-54 advantage into the final stanza.

Former bj-league MVP Masashi Joho, who started in the backcourt with Igarashi, had eight points in his regular-season debut with Niigata.

Shimane, which played in the second division last season, had 16 assists and 14 turnovers.

Big man Josh Scott, a University of Colorado alum, paced the Magic with 20 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Takuya Soma and Brendan Lane both scored 10 points and ex-Niigata star Kimitake Sato had nine.

Grouses 83, Levanga 78

In Toyama, new Serbian bench boss Miodrag Rajkovic guided the Grouses to a narrow victory over Hokkaido to usher in the new season.

Rising star Naoki Uto had 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting. He was 9-for-9 at the foul line and handed out eight assists. Ex-NBA center Dexter Pittman contributed 15 points and Naoaki Hashimoto scored 12 points. Sharpshooter Yuto Otsuka canned 3 of 6 3s to account for all of his nine points. Otsuka also had a game-high four steals.

Toyama outscored the visitors 26-12 in the pivotal third quarter.

Post player Marc Trasolini, a Santa Clara alum, had 21 points and a pair of blocks for the Levanga, with Asahi Tajima scoring 12 points and dishing out eight assists. Greg Whittington added nine points and 11 rebounds.

Hokkaido turned the ball over 19 times.

Golden Kings 65, Sunrockers 53

In Okinawa City, Ryukyu bounced back from a Friday loss to salvage a series split against Shibuya, giving new coach Norio Sassa his first triumph with the Golden Kings.

Ryukyu’s Hassan Martin notched a double-double (18 points, 10 boards) and Kohei Ninomiya scored 11 points. Forward Ira Brown added nine points, nine rebounds and six assists, with Takumi Ishizaki and Hilton Armstrong finishing with seven points apiece.

The Kings held the Sunrockers under 20 points in all four quarters, including nine in the opening period and 11 in the final period.

Shibuya shot 30.8 percent from the field.

Center Robert Sacre led the visitors with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Kenta Hirose scored nine points.

Jets 86, Storks 70

In Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Gavin Edwards scored 18 points and Michael Parker had 13 points and 10 rebounds as Chiba spoiled the hosts’ B1 debut.

The Jets’ Ryumo Ono nailed 3 of 6 3s in a 12-point outing and Kosuke Ishii also sank 3 of 6 from long range en route to 11 points on the night. Yuki Togashi handed out seven assists.

Chiba outrebounded Nishinomiya 46-33.

For the Storks, Naoki Tani had 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Connor Lammert added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Tadahiro Yanagawa scored 11 points. Draelon Burns was the team leader in assists (seven).

Hannaryz 80, NeoPhoenix 62

In Kyoto, Hannaryz coach Honoo Hamaguchi began his seventh season in charge with a lopsided victory over San-en.

Kyoto took a 40-29 lead into the locker room at halftime and never trailed in the 40-minute contest.

Marcus Dove had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the hosts, Yusuke Okada scored 13 points and Masaharu Kataoka had 11.

Kyoto shot 50 percent from the floor and 14-for-16 at the foul line.

Tatsuya Suzuki led the NeoPhoenix with 13 points and four assists. Atsuya Ota had 11 points and Scott Morrison finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

SeaHorses 85, Brex 70

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Kosuke Kanamaru’s game-high 23 points helped spark Mikawa in a bounce-back win over the defending champions.

J.R. Sakuragi had 16 points and six assists, Ryoma Hashimoto poured in 15 points with four assists and four steals and Makoto Hiejima had 13 points and four assists. Daniel Orton contributed 10 points and 10 boards, while frontcourt mate Isaac Butts pulled down 13 rebounds.

The SeaHorses, who dropped Friday’s season opener 78-64, registered 21 assists against nine turnovers.

Ryan Rossiter was the biggest bright spot for the Brex, finishing with 18 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists. Kosuke Takeuchi and Cedric Bozeman both had 14 points and Yusuke Endo scored 12.

Mikawa scored 17 points off turnovers and held the hosts to four.

The SeaHorses responded to coach Kimikazu Suzuki’s challenge after Friday’s game to improve their rebounding in the rematch. They collected 42 rebounds, four more than the Brex.

B2 update (Saturday’s scores)

Kanazawa Samuraiz 76, Kagawa Five Arrows 67

Shinshu Brave Warriors 72, Aomori Wat’s 65

Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka 78, Gunma Crane Thunders 74

Fighting Eagles Nagoya 84, Sendai 89ers 62

Akita Northern Happinets 73, Kumamoto Volters 59

Ibaraki Robots 79, Iwate Big Bulls 58

Ehime Orange Vikings 82, Earthfriends Tokyo Z 71

Yamagata Wyverns 83, Bambitious Nara 61

B2 notes

In Fukuoka’s first game in the second division, veteran star Josh Peppers, a longtime standout in the bj-league over the past decade, scored a team-best 23 points. …

For Shinshu, Anthony McHenry, who helped the Golden Kings win four bj-league titles, had 11 points and six rebounds in his first regular-season game for the Nagano-based club, adding two assists, a steal, a block and a dunk for good measure.