The reigning champions Alvark Tokyo gave their fans an early Christmas present on Sunday afternoon.
Actually, it was their second gift to team supporters over the holiday weekend, with the Alvark posting an 89-68 victory over the Yokohama B-Corsairs and completing a series sweep on Emperor Akihito’s 85th birthday.
Rising star Yudai Baba paced Tokyo (17-9) with 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting, including two dunks, with five assists. Jawad Williams contributed 16 points, Seiya Ando and Daiki Tanaka each scored 11 points and Genki Kojima provided nine points and seven assists. Alex Kirk also scored nine points and blocked a troika of Yokohama shots.
The Alvark, who never trailed, took a 46-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Tokyo shot 56.7 percent from the floor and canned 16 of 19 foul shots.
For the B-Corsairs (6-20), newcomer Arthur Stepheson had 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting. Masashi Hosoya added 16 points and Ryo Tawatari scored 10.
In the series opener on Saturday, the Alvark trounced the hosts 88-56.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Tokyo coach Luka Pavicevic said, “All of the team fought well … we carried our team-wide fighting for 40 minutes.”
Pavicevic added that he thought “the team was able to adjust firmly to the opponent’s defense.”
Baba noted that Yokohama played with a lot of intensity, “but it was nice to be able to fight for 40 minutes without losing it.”
Jets 85, Northern Happinets 65
In Akita, the visitors dominated the second and third quarters and defeated the Happinets for the second time in as many days.
Chiba outscored Akita 57-27 in the middle two periods.
Michael Parker finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Gavin Edwards had 15 points and 10 boards for the Jets (21-5), who have won nine of their past 10 games. Yuki Togashi chipped in with 18 points.
For the Happinets (10-16), Justin Keenan scored 14 points and Takuya Nakayama registered a triple-double (11 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) along with five steals.
Akita shot 3 of 19 from 3-point range.
Rizing Zephyr 79, Levanga 57
In Fukuoka, the hosts raced out to a 64-42 lead entering the fourth quarter and secured a bounce-back triumph over Hokkaido.
Shota Tsuyama, who buried 3 of 4 3-point attempts, paced the Rizing Zephyr with 15 points and Eric Jacobsen scored 12 points and raked in 10 rebounds.
Fukuoka (6-20) made 10 of 22 3s and held the out-of-towners to 3 of 23.
Newcomer Byron Mullens, a 212-cm center, led the Levanga (7-19) with 18 points and 12 boards and Marc Trasolini finished with 15 and 15.
Golden Kings 71, Sunrockers 59
In Okinawa City, the hosts overcame deficits of 24-8 and 38 after the first quarter and halftime to complete a series sweep of Shibuya.
Naoki Tashiro scored 14 points, and Takatoshi Furukawa added 13 to lead Ryukyu’s balanced offensive attack. Three teammates also scored in double figures for the Golden Kings (20-6), who have rattled off five straight wins.
Robert Sacre scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Sunrockers (12-14), while Ryan Kelly had 18 points, 10 boards and six assists.
Grouses 83, NeoPhoenix 78
In Hamamatsu, Leo Lyons scored 21 points, Yuto Otsuka poured in 20 and Joshua Smith had 16 and 10 rebounds as Toyama defeat San-en to wrap up a two-game sweep.
Lyons also snared nine rebounds for the Grouses (15-11).
Josh Childress had 21 points, 10 boards and eight assists for the NeoPhoenix (9-17), with Shuto Tawatari scoring 17 points, William McDonald 16 and Hayato Kawashima 12.
Hannaryz 71, Lakestars 68
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, coach Honoo Hamaguchi’s squad struggled mightily from 3-point range but found a way to salvage a series split with its Kansai rival.
Kyoto big man David Simon delivered a big performance with 30 points and 13 rebounds and Yusuke Okada and Julian Mavunga both scored 10 points. Mavunga also handed out nine assists.
The Hannaryz (15-11) missed 17 of 18 3s.
Gani Lawal scored 25 points and corralled 11 rebounds for the Lakestars (6-20) and D’or Fischer had 16 points and 12 boards, while Taishi Ito chipped in with seven points.
Evessa 76, Brex 73
In Osaka, Xavier Gibson and Naoya Kumagae both scored 16 points and Shunki Hatakeyama made five steals as the hosts avenged Saturday’s defeat to Tochigi.
Gibson also hauled in 12 rebounds. Teammate Jahmar Thorpe supplied 12 points and Faye Pape Mour had nine points and seven rebounds for the Evessa (10-16).
Osaka trailed 43-33 entering the third quarter.
Ryan Rossiter led the Brex (21-5) with 28 points and had nine rebounds. Frontcourt mate Jeff Gibbs scored 14 points and snared 13 rebounds. Yusuke Endo had 11 points and Hironori Watanabe contributed eight points and five assists.
SeaHorses 86, Albirex BB 73
In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Kosuke Kanamaru ignited the hosts with 12 of his game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter in a bounce-back triumph over Niigata.
The SeaHorses (13-13) put 28 points on the board in the final stanza and held the visitors to 14.
Kennedy Meeks, a former University of North Carolina player, had a stellar all-around game for Mikawa, supplying his team with 18 points, 21 rebounds and six assists. J.R. Sakuragi added 14 points, 10 assists and four steals.
Davante Gardner led Niigata (16-10) with 26 points and Kei Igarashi scored 21, all on 3-point shots. Lamont Hamilton contributed 18 points and nine boards.