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Albirex find path to victory in overtime against Alvark

Dufault scores winning basket with 3 seconds left

by

Staff Writer

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).