Basketball / B. League

Sunrockers center Robert Sacre drops 44 on Hannaryz in series-opening triumph

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Robert Sacre made the Kyoto Hannaryz pay for fouling him repeatedly in the fourth quarter on Saturday night.

Sacre went 10-for-10 at the free-throw line in the decisive fourth quarter. The Gonzaga University alum also scored 14 of his season-high 44 points in the final stanza as the Sunrockers Shibuya outlasted the hosts 97-93 at Hannaryz Arena.

The29-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers center, who made 17 of 26 shots from the field, also corralled a game-high 13 rebounds, including seven offensive boards, with two assists, two steals and one block in 39-plus minutes. His previous high in points this season was 30 on Nov. 11.Ryan Kelly contributed 17 points and seven boards for Shibuya (21-26) and Kenta Hirose had 16 points, with both men connecting on 3 of 4 3-point shots. Teammate Leo Vendrame finished with seven points and six assists.

In another banner performance, Kyoto’s Julian Mavunga notched a triple-double in defeat, scoring 29 points with 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Sacre’s inside counterpart, David Simon, had 36 points and nine rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, and Kevin Hareyama scored 10 for the Hannaryz (27-20).

The Sunrockers led 42-36 at halftime, with Sacre scoring 18 points before the break.

Brex 79, B-Corsairs 64

In Yokohama, former Tochigi Brex coach Tom Wisman will be the first one to tell you that macho forward Ryan Rossiter helps set the tone for the Brex every time he steps onto the court.

There was a big reminder of that on Saturday, when Wisman’s Yokohama B-Corsairs played host to the Brex, the team Wisman led to the B. League title in the inaugural 2016-17 campaign.

Rossiter excelled in a 29-point performance, leading the Brex to victory at Yokohama International Swimming Pool.

The Siena College alum made 14 of 23 shots from the floor and snared 16 rebounds.

Tochigi, which led 34-32 at halftime, seized control in the third quarter, outscoring Yokohama 24-13.

Hironori Watanabe added 12 points and Yusuke Endo scored nine for the Brex (38-9). Seiji Ikaruga dished out six assists, while veteran big man Andrew Naymick swatted five shots.

Brandon Costner led the B-Corsairs (14-33) with 24 points and Arthur Stepheson had 17 points and 23 boards.

Both teams had atrocious 3-point shooting performances: Tochigi made 3 of 18; Yokohama sank 4 of 18.

Brave Thunders 95, Levanga 75

In Kawasaki, Vernon Macklin and Nick Fazekas combined for 45 points as the Brave Thunders pounded Hokkaido, which dropped its ninth straight game.

Macklin made 12 of 15 shots from the field en route to 25 points, while Fazekas had 20 on 10-for-15 shooting. Seven players had two or more assists for Kawasaki (30-17).

David Doblas scored 25 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Levanga (10-37).

NeoPhoenix 71, SeaHorses 66

In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, William McDonald scored a game-high 24 points and San-en’s offense clicked in a narrow victory over rival Mikawa.

The NeoPhoenix registered assists on 28 of their 32 field goals.

Tatsuya Suzuki led the hosts with six assists, followed by McDonald and Shuto Tawatari, both of whom had five.

Hayato Kawashima and Cedric Simmons added 11 points apiece for San-en (19-29). Kawashima also made four steals and blocked two shots.

Isaac Butts paced the SeaHorses (24-24) with 16 points and 19 rebounds, while Kosuke Kanamaru scored 13 points.

Albirex BB 80, Evessa 68

In Osaka, MVP candidate Davante Gardner’s 34-point, 11-rebound effort guided Niigata past the hosts.

Gardner’s banner performance included 10-for-11 shooting at the foul line.

Teammate Lamont Hamilton poured in 17 points and Shinsuke Kashiwagi and Yuichi Ikeda both had seven for the Albirex (33-14).

For the Evessa (18-29), Josh Harrellson led the way with 27 points and 18 rebounds. Xavier Gibson scored 23 points.

Lakestars 81, Golden Kings 78

In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Allen Durham and Henry Walker both scored 22 points in a series-opening triumph over Ryukyu.

Durham hauled in 16 rebounds to complete the double-double.

Yusuke Karino and Koyo Takahashi both had 10 for the Lakestars (12-36).

In this tight duel, there were 15 lead changes and 13 ties.

Narito Namizato provided 19 points and six assists for the Golden Kings (30-18). Ryuichi Kishimoto and Kevin Jones scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Grouses 91, Rizing Zephyr 82

In Fukuoka, six Toyama players had double-digit point totals as the Grouses defeated the hosts.

Leo Lyons and Joshua Smith each scored 16 points and Tomokazu Abe supplied 14 and six assists. Sharpshooter Yuto Otsuka matched Abe’s scoring total and Naoki Uto and Daiji Yamada added 10 apiece for Toyama (24-23).

Otsuka canned 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Smith’s 11 rebounds led the club.

Eric Jacobsen was Fukuoka’s high scorer with 21 points. Tenyoku You chipped in with 19 points and Yasuhiro Yamashita had 18 for the Rizing Zephyr (11-36).

Alvark 82, Diamond Dolphins 70

In Tachikawa, big man Alex Kirk’s 23-point, 10-rebound effort helped Tokyo prevail against Nagoya.

Seiya Ando, Yudai Baba and Daiki Tanaka all contributed 13 points for the Alvark (35-13), who held the visitors to 30 second-half points.

Ando had a game-best four steals along with five assists. Baba, meanwhile, topped the chart in assists (six).

The Alvark’s opportunistic defense sealed the win. Tokyo made 12 steals and scored 25 points off turnovers, with Nagoya scoring three from the hosts’ giveaways.

Craig Brackins led the Diamond Dolphins (25-23) with 22 points. Hilton Armstrong contributed 13 points and 14 boards and Tenketsu Harimoto had 12 points.

Jets 88, Northern Happinets 64

In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, Gavin Edwards energized the hosts with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a runaway victory over Akita.

The Jets, winners of eight straight, led 27-9 after one quarter.

Josh Duncan finished with 14 points and Michael Parker had 12 for Chiba (41-7), with Aki Chambers, Shigehiro Taguchi and Yuki Togashi all scoring nine.

Togashi handed out nine assists to lead all players.

The Jets shot 55.9 percent from the floor; the visitors made 38.3 percent of their attempts.

Ryuto Yasuoka poured in 18 points for the Happinets (15-33), while Justin Keenan had 10 points.