The Alvark Tokyo outplayed the Kawasaki Brave Thunders in Friday’s series opener, and it all started with an impressive offensive performance.
The Alvark sank 26 of 41 shots from 2-point range in an 80-71 road victory at Todoroki Arena.
Tokyo outscored the hosts 10-0 in fast-break points and held a 44-28 edge in in-the-paint scoring.
Big man Alex Kirk, a University of New Mexico alum, paced the Alvark with 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks and Daiki Tanaka scored 16 and dished out seven assists. Seiya Ando and Jawad Williams each had 12 points, Shohei Kikuchi scored eight on 4-for-4 shooting and Joji Takeuchi finished with seven points.
Tokyo outrebounded the Brave Thunders 32-23 .
Kawasaki trailed 38-30 at halftime.
Nick Fazekas led the Brave Thunders (32-16) with 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Yuma Fujii and Josh Davis scored 12 points apiece and Naoto Tsuji had nine points and four assists.
Neither team took particularly good care of the basketball. The Alvark had 16 assists and 16 turnovers; the Brave Thunders had 15 assists and 14 giveaways.
Brex 87, Sunrockers 64
In Tokyo, Tochigi delivered a strong effort at both ends of the floor in its series opener against Shibuya.
As a result, the Brex snapped a two-game losing streak.
Tochigi (26-22) shot exactly 50 percent from the floor, making 36 of 72 shots.
Yuta Tabuse sparked the visitors with 12 points and three steals and Jeff Gibbs matched Tabuse’s scoring output.
Ryan Rossiter, a former Siena College standout, made a major impact with 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Hironori Watanabe poured in nine points and Cedric Bozeman, Shusuke Ikuhara and Seiji Ikaruga all had eight points at Sumida City Gymnasium.
Tochigi led 45-26 at halftime
For Shibuya (23-25), Robert Sacre was the high scorer with 23 points. Leo Vendrame and Josh Harrellson contributed eight and seven points, respectively, and Tomoya Hasegawa handed out five assists.
The Sunrockers missed 14 of 17 3-point attempts.
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