The Niigata Albirex BB and Alvark Tokyo provided plenty of drama on Tuesday night in their series finale that went down to the wire.
Niigata’s Davante Gardner scored a game-high 40 points and frontcourt mate Austin Dufault made the winning basket, an inside shot, with 3 seconds left in overtime, giving the visitors a 97-95 bounce-back triumph over Tokyo at Komazawa Gymnasium.
The Albirex improved to 3-1; the Alvark fell to 3-1.
Gardner, a muscular Marquette University alum, made 16 of 23 2-point shots. He pulled down 14 rebounds.
Teammate Shunki Hatakeyama poured in 18 points and Kei Igarashi, who fired up 13 3-pointers (four makes), had 14 points. Jun Uzawa and Dufault added 10 apiece.
Tokyo trailed 44-41 at halftime.
Alex Kirk, a University of New Mexico product, paced the Alvark with 24 points and former NBA player Jawad Williams finished with 14. Joji Takeuchi chipped in with 13 points, 21-year-old Yudai Baba scored 10 and playmaker Daiki Tanaka had nine points and nine assists.
Tokyo hurt its cause at the free-throw line (15-for-23).