Basketball / B. League

Brave Thunders make pair of key defensive plays in last minute to thwart Sunrockers

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Kawasaki Brave Thunders came up with a pair of steals in the final 42 seconds to seal an 85-83 victory over the Sunrockers Shibuya on Friday night.

In their B. League series opener at Todoroki Arena, Kawasaki’s Ryusei Shinoyama drained the go-ahead shot, an outside jumper, with 54 seconds left. Naoto Tsuji registered an assist on the play.

That put the Brave Thunders in front by two points.

Shibuya’s Leo Vendrame turned the ball over seconds later, with Tsuji making a steal.

With 10 seconds left in the game and the Sunrockers still trailing 85-83, Vendrame again lost the ball, with Josh Davis getting credit for a steal.

Kawasaki improved to 5-2. Shibuya slipped to 3-4.

Nick Fazekas scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Brave Thunders, who led 44-43 at halftime. Shinoyama finished with 16 points and seven assists, Tsuji scored 13 points and Takumi Hasegawa had 11. Davis, a San Diego State alum, contributed 10 points and 15 boards to notch a double-double.

Vendrame and Tomoya Hasegawa both had 17-point performances for the Sunrockers. Robert Sacre added 12 points and Takashi Ito and Josh Harrellson had 10 points apiece. Harrellson hauled in eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

Storks 80, Lakestars 71

In Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, the hosts jumped out to a 43-32 halftime lead and held on to beat Shiga.

For the Storks (2-5), Naoki Tani and Tadahiro Yanagawa shared the team lead in points (16), with Tani knocking down 4 of 9 3-point attempts and supplying four assists and three steals as well.

Power forward Connor Lammert, a University of Texas product, had season-high totals in points (14), rebounds (13) and assists (five) for Nishinomiya. Teammate Draelon Burns chipped in with 10 points, seven boards and seven assists, while Noriaki Dohara contributed nine points and four steals.

D’or Fischer paced the Lakestars (1-6) with 19 points and Koyo Takahashi scored 18. Narito Namizato had 13 points and seven assists.

B2 update

Friday’s result: Orange Vikings 81, Volters 78

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