The SeaHorses Mikawa ran into a red-hot Tochigi Brex squad on Saturday afternoon.
The reigning champion Brex, winners of seven in a row entering the series opener, came up short, falling 81-77 to Mikawa.
Kosuke Kanamaru sparked the SeaHorses (25-8) with 32 points, including 11 of 11 at the foul line. No other player attempted more than six free throws.
Daniel Orton had 13 points, eight boards and five assists and Makoto Hiejima and J.R. Sakuragi also scored 11 points apiece for the hosts before an announced crowd of 5,327 in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. Isaac Butts also grabbed eight boards for the SeaHorses.
Sakuragi corralled 11 rebounds to complete the double-double and doled out five assists in 30 efficient minutes.
The hosts led 78-76 with 1 minute remaining and held off the Brex down the stretch.
Mikawa outrebounded the visitors 41-33.
Tochigi trailed 41-40 at halftime.
Yusuke Endo paced the Brex (17-16) with 15 points, Ryan Rossiter scored 11, Jeff Gibbs had 10 and Shusuke Ikuhara nine. Kosuke Takeuchi supplied eight points and eight rebounds and Yuta Tabuse had seven points and four assists, with Shuhei Kitagawa also scoring seven points.
Rossiter was the team leader in rebounds (11) and assists (six).
The SeaHorses sealed the victory at the free-throw line, making 24 of 28 attempts. Tochigi was 5 of 9.
Jets 89, Lakestars 78
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Michael Parker scored 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting and added 15 rebounds and three blocks and Leo Lyons poured in 21 points as Chiba defeated the struggling Shiga.
The Lakestars dropped their eighth consecutive game.
Ryumo Ono added 16 points and five assists and Gavin Edwards had 10 points and 10 boards for the Jets (23-10), who had a 26-14 advantage in second-chance points.
D’or Fischer led Shiga (11-22) with 19 points and 12 rebounds and Narito Namizato provided 16 points, 10 assists and eight boards, while Venky Jois finished with 10 points and four steals.
Sunrockers 79, Grouses 70
In Toyama, Yuki Mitsuhara’s 17-point effort and Robert Sacre’s 11 points helped guide Shibuya past the hosts.
Kenta Hirose and Leo Vendrame each had nine points for the Sunrockers (20-13) and Takashi Ito scored eight. Josh Harrellson had a team-best seven assists and also snared eight boards, also the most on the team.
Shibuya knocked down 10 of 23 3s (43.5 percent) and held the Gruses to 6 of 23 from long range.
Dexter Pittman scored 15 points for Toyama (17-16) and Naoki Uto had 14 with nine rebounds and nine assists. Sam Willard chipped in with 12 points and Naoaki Hashimoto had 10.
Brave Thunders 84, Susanoo Magic 63
In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, 2016-17 league MVP Nick Fazekas scored 33 points and hauled in eight rebounds to lead Kawasaki past the hosts.
Josh Davis contributed 12 points, seven boards and three blocks for the Brave Thunders (21-12), who outscored the Susanoo Magic 23-7 in the final quarter. Takumi Hasegawa added eight points and Yuma Fujii had seven with seven assists.
Josh Scott scored 19 points and 11 rebounds for Shimane (7-26), Kimitake Sato had 13 and Shota Watanabe put 10 points on the board. Iowa State product Jameel McKay, a backup forward, collected 15 rebounds.
The Magic lost their seventh straight contest.
B-Corsairs 86, Albirex BB 81
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Yokohama’s opportunistic defense forced 13 turnovers and the visitors turned those takeaways into 20 points, a critical factor in the victory.
Veteran sharpshooter Takuya Kawamura scored 28 points, including a game-high three 3s, and dished out six assists for the B-Corsairs (9-24). Ex-NBA big man Hasheem Thabeet contributed 11 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. Jotaro Mitsuda had 14 points and Ryo Tawatari and Jeff Parmer both had 10 points. Tawatarai was the team leader in steals (three), while four others collected two apiece.
Albirex All-Star center Davante Gardner had 24 points, seven rebounds and six turnovers and Lamont Hamilton scored 20 points and also hauled in seven boards. Shunki Hatakeyama had nine points, while Kei Igarashi chipped in with seven points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Niigata (12-21) turned the ball over 21 times.
NeoPhoenix 103, Diamond Dolphins 83
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, San-en’s offense clicked as coach Hiroki Fujita’s team handed out 25 assists and shot 12 of 25 from long range in a rout of Nagoya.
Shuto Tawatari had a super game for the hosts, making 8 of 10 3s en route to 30 points. Wendell White contributed 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Hayato Kawashima and Tatsuya Suzuki both registered five assists, too.
Scott Morrison finished with 16 points and Suzuki had 12 for the NeoPhoenix (15-18).
Jerome Tillman led the Diamond Dolphins (14-19) with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Takaya Sasayama had 18 points and eight assists. Seiya Funyu put 17 points on the board.
San-en was in front 52-39 entering the second half and 83-63 after three quarters.
In addition to its dominating outside attack, the hosts held a 48-34 edge on points in the paint.
Golden Kings 79, Hannaryz 60
In Okinawa City, Ryukyu dominated the fourth quarter to wrap up its seventh consecutive win.
The Golden Kings (26-7) had a 25-point fourth quarter and held Kyoto to 13.
Ira Brown notched a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) for Ryukyu. Ryuichi Kishimoto scored 15 points, Hassan Martin had 13 and Takatoshi Furukawa 11. Hilton Armstrong grabbed 10 rebounds.
Ryukyu won the battle on the boards 46-30 and held a sizable advantage in inside scoring (32-12 in the paint).Julian Mavunga led Kyoto (18-15) with 15 points, Yusuke Okada scored nine and Joshua Smith finished with seven and 10 rebounds.
Levanga 73, Alvark 67
In Hakodate, Hokkaido, the hosts outscored Tokyo 17-6 in the fourth quarter in a series-opening win.
The Alvark had won six straight games.
Marc Trasolini paced the Levanga (18-15) with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Frontcourt mate Daniel Miller added 17 points, 11 boards and three blocks. Asahi Tajima and Daisuke Noguchi chipped in with eight and seven points, respectively.
Tokyo (26-7) didn’t block a shot.
Alex Kirk, coming off a 40-point performance against the Shiga Lakestars last Sunday, led the Alvark with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Daiki Tanaka finished with 16 points and Joji Takeuchi and Takeki Shonaka both had nine. Takeuchi also grabbed 13 rebounds.
The visitors shot an inadequate 13-for-23 at the free-throw line.
Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:
Robots 81, Samuraiz 71
Orange Vikings 90, Bambitious 69
Dragonflies 65, Rizing Zephyr 58
Brave Warriors 69, Earthfriends 54
Fighting Eagles 80, Wyverns 79
Volters 88, Five Arrows 53
Crane Thunders 108, 89ers 76
Firebonds 77, Big Bulls 76
Northern Happinets 80, Wat’s 77