Justin Burrell displayed poise time after time at the free-throw line on Friday night.
It paid off for the visiting Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.
Burrell sank 16 of 18 foul shots as Nagoya outlasted the Levanga Hokkaido 92-89 in overtime in their series opener in Sapporo.
The St. John’s University alum finished with a game-high 32 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He shot 8 of 12 from the floor. Teammate Jerome Tillman added 14 points for the Diamond Dolphins (8-12). Tenketsu Harimoto chipped in with 10 points, while Takaya Sasayama dished out six assists.
Marc Trasolini paced Hokkaido (10-10) with 18 points and 12 boards. Ryohei Kawabe scored 15 points and Takehiko Orimo had 14. Asahi Tajima contributed 12 points.
The hosts led 61-52 entering the fourth quarter.
Orimo sank a free throw with 22 seconds left in the fourth to tie it at 76-76. The score remained and overtime ensued.
Golden Kings 83, Lakestars 63
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Hassan Martin’s double-double and Ryukyu’s effective 3-point shooting carried the club to its eighth straight victory by beating the hosts in the series opener.
Martin led the Golden Kings (15-5) with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Shota Tsuyama had 13 points, including 3 of 4 on 3s.
Takatoshi Furukawa also scored 13 points for the visitors.
Ryukyu made 10 of 24 shots from beyond the arc, and Ryuichi Kishimoto and Yutaro Suda both handed out five assists.
The Kings led 43-34 at halftime.
For Shiga (9-11), Faye Samba had 14 points and seven boards and Yusuke Karino scored 13 points. Koyo Takahashi added 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting, including 1 of 7 from long range. Teammate Narito Namizato dished out seven assists.
Shiga had 18 assists and 15 turnovers.
The Lakestars missed 13 of 16 3-point shots.
SeaHorses 104, Brave Thunders 99
In Kawasaki, both teams shot the ball at a high rate throughout the game, but Mikawa found a way to prevail against the hosts.
J.R. Sakuragi sparked the SeaHorses (18-2) with 25 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. At age 41, he remains a potent force for the title-chasing club. Makoto Hiejima had 23 points and Isaac Butts scored 13 and doled out six assists. Kosuke Kanamaru and Masaya Karimata each scored 11 points.
Mikawa shot 67.4 percent from 2-point range and knocked down 11 of 19 on 3s.
Naoto Tsuji ignited Kawasaki (11-9) with 26 points and seven assists. He drained 6 of 11 3s. Nick Fazekas scored 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Takumi Hasegawa added 12 points.
The Brave Thunders made 13 of 22 3s and shot 59.1 from inside the arc, but it was not enough.
Here are the results of Friday’s games:
Five Arrows 76, Bambitious 62
(Kagawa improved to 8-12; Nara fell to 2-18.)
89ers 86, Earthfriends 67
(Sendai improved to 10-10; Tokyo slipped to 7-13. Kaito Ishikawa dished out 12 assists for the 89ers.)
White joins NeoPhoenix
Two-time bj-league MVP Wendell White joined the San-en NeoPhoenix this week, the top-flight team announced on Friday.
The UNLV alum, who first starred for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix in the franchise’s title-winning 2009-10 season, had a 13-game stint with the second division’s Hiroshima Dragonflies, playing his final game with the club on Nov. 19.
“I’m so thankful to be back with the NeoPhoenix,” White said in a statement posed on the team website. “The place where I started my Japanese basketball career. I’m honored and proud to call myself a NeoPhoenix again.
“The boosters here in NeoPhoenix are one of the best in B1. To my teammates and staff members, I’m excited to see old faces and meet the new faces.
He added: “I’m going to give my team and fans the best effort I can to win games.”
The veteran forward averaged 13.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Dragonflies.
From 2013-17, he suited up for the Sendai 89ers. The 198-cm White also played for the Kyoto Hannaryz and Oita HeatDevils during the bj-league era.
White fills a NeoPhoenix roster spot vacated after a pair of moves announced Friday. Forward Lawrence “Trend” Blackledge, a Marquette University alum who appeared in eight games in November and early December, was released, and former NBA swingman Cartier Martin and the team mutually agreed to part ways.
Blackledge posted averages of 4.8 points and 2.9 rebounds for San-en.
In 17 games with San-en, Martin, a Kansas State product, averaged 19.3 points, 5.9 boards and 1.2 assists.
The NeoPhoenix (8-11) play host to the Toyama Grouses (8-11) in a clash of Central Division rivals on Saturday and Sunday.
Rosters for B. Black and B. White for the second annual All-Star Game in Kumamoto on Jan. 14 have recently been announced.
Additional details about the All-Star Game will be revealed in the coming days.
For B. Black, fans selections are guards Yuta Tabuse (Tochigi Brex) and Daiki Tanaka (Alvark Tokyo) and forwards Yudai Baba and Joji Takeuchi of the Alvark and Kosuke Takeuchi (Tochigi).
For B. White, boosters choose guards Yuki Togashi (Chiba Jets Funabashi) and Ryusei Shinoyama (Kawasaki Brave Thunders) and forwards Ira Brown (Ryukyu Golden Kings), Yutaro Suda (Ryukyu) and Tenketsu Harimoto (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins).
League-appointed selections for the B. Black roster are Takuya Kawamura (Yokohama B-Corsairs), Shigehiro Taguchi (Akita Northern Happinets), Tatsuya Suzuki (San-en NeoPhoenix), Greg Whittington (Levanga Hokkaido), Robert Sacre (Sunrockers Shibuya), Naoya Kumagae (Osaka Evessa) and Shintaro Kobayashi (B2’s Kumamoto Volters).
For B. White, league-nominated players are Makoto Hiejima (SeaHorses), Naoki Uto (Toyama Grouses), Nick Fazekas (Kawasaki), Ryumo Ono (Chiba), Takatoshi Furukawa (Ryukyu), Davante Gardner (Niigata Albirex BB) and Yasuhiro Yamashita (Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka captain).
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