The Osaka Evessa survived a big test on Sunday.
After being outscored 27-14 in the fourth quarter by the visiting Ryukyu Golden Kings, the series opener extended to an overtime period.
Ryukyu’s Ryuichi Kishimoto made that happen by nailing a 3-pointer with 3 seconds to go in the fourth. That tied it at 75-75. But the Evessa found a way to outplay the visitors in the bonus period, hanging on for a 90-85 victory.
Big man Richard Hendrix paced Osaka (2-1) with 28 points and 13 rebounds and swatted three shots.
Frontcourt mate Ira Brown finished with 20 points, nine boards and three blocks. Sean O’Mara added 21 points and handed out five assists, while Takuya Hashimoto contributed nine points.
For the Golden Kings (1-2), Jack Cooley had 21 points and 16 rebounds and Josh Scott scored 19 and also pulled down 16 boards, with Kishimoto providing 11 points and six assists.
Hendrix and Hashimoto both had six points in overtime, when the Evessa outscored Ryuku 15-10.
Hendrix, a newcomer to the B. League, was fired up after the victory.
“Great WIN tonight!” he tweeted. “The arena was rocking! Big thanks to the fans for the support!”
Hashimoto, meanwhile, was pleased that his team’s resilience was tested.
“The best thing in today’s game is that we have won a seesaw game,” Hashimoto told reporters. “A good start for the coming season.
Said O’Mara: “We had a great victory today. Especially in the second half, everyone was able to step up, and although it was a fierce battle in overtime, it was really good to be able to win. Our strength is that everyone can contribute to the team.”
Brave Thunders 71, Albirex BB 62
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Kawasaki star Nick Fazekas led the way with 29 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in a win over the hosts.
Jordan Heath notched a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds), Yuto Otsuka poured in 11 points and
Ryusei Shinoyama energized the Brave Thunders (3-0) with five assists and four steals.
For Niigata (0-3), Nick Perkins scored 27 points on 12-for-19 shooting and snared nine rebounds. Lamont
Hamilton chipped in with 13 points, Kenta Imamura had 10 and Kenta Morii dished out seven assists.
Diamond Dolphins 75, NeoPhoenix 65
In Nagoya, the hosts took a 21-point advantage into the locker room at halftime and held off San-en in the second half en route to victory.
Taito Nakahigashi had the hot hand for the Diamond Dolphins (3-0), scoring 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting, including 2 of 2 on 3-point attempts.
Nagoya center Hilton Armstrong, a former NBA player, and Takaya Sasayama added 12 points apiece. Armstrong led the club in rebounds (nine).
Newcomer Jessie Govan, a Georgetown University product, had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the NeoPhoenix (0-3). Devin Ebanks poured in 16 points and Shuto Terazono finished with 10.
Hannaryz 90, Grouses 84
In Kyoto, the hosts replicated their 3-point shooting success from the series opener and completed a series sweep of Toyama.
In the rematch, the Hannaryz canned 12 of 22 3s. A day earlier, they made12 of 23.
Keijuro Matsui, who made 6 of 11 on Saturday, was once again a potent perimeter weapon for Kyoto (4-0). This time, he drained 5 of 10 in a 22-point performance.
In addition to Matsui’s dynamic long-range shooting, teammate Julian Mavunga had a sensational game, scoring 31 points on a perfect 9-for-9 shooting and handing out nine assists. Inside anchor David Simon finished with 24 points and 12 boards.
Kyoto held the Grouses (2-2) to 3-for-15 shooting from beyond the arc.
Leo Lyons was the top scorer for Toyama with 17 points. Joshua Smith and Daiji Yamada had 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Brex 96, Lakestars 90
In Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, a strong all-around team effort carried Utsunomiya past the hosts, giving coach Ryuzo Anzai’s club a weekend sweep.
Ryan Rossiter ignited the Brex (2-2) at both ends of the court with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Yusuke Endo scored 19 points, Makoto Hiejima supplied 14 points and five assists and Kosuke Takeuchi chipped in with eight points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Gibbs and Hironori Watanabe both finished with eight points.
Henry Walker led the Lakestars (0-4) with 24 points, Charles Rhodes has 17 points and Takumi Saito contributed 12 points and eight assists.
Jets 82, SeaHorses 78
In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Gavin Edwards’ 33-point effort and Yuki Togashi’s 11 assists helped carry Chiba past Mikawa.
Togashi’s shot was off the mark (0-for-11, zero points), but the speedy point guard made an impact with his deft passing. Shuta Hara added 16 points and Ryumo Ono had 12 for the Jets (1-2).
SeaHorses center Davante Gardner led all scorers with 36 points. He made 13 of 22 shots from the floor and 10 of 11 at the foul line. Kosuke Kanamaru and Satoshi Nagano each had 11 points for Mikawa (1-2).
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5