The Chiba Jets Funabashi will play with the B. League title on the line for a third time after they defeated the Ryukyu Golden Kings 89-71 in Game 3 of their semifinal series Monday night, Kaz Nagatsuka reports.
Facing the Jets will be the Utsunomiya Brex, who made sure to remind everyone that they are the best team in the league this season with a sweep of the Kawasaki Brave Thunders this past weekend. The Brex punched their ticket with a decisive 96-78 home win on Saturday.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Rui Hachimura became the first Japanese player to take the floor in an NBA playoff Sunday, though his 12 points and five rebounds were not enough to save the Washington Wizards from a loss to the 76ers.
And there is another: Despite going viral in a bad way in February, Yuta Watanabe has captured the imagination of fans in Japan in his third NBA season, even earning a rotation spot with the Raptors, The New York Times reports. But Watanabe knows he can’t rest on his laurels if he wants to remain a regular next season.
Unsurprisingly, Hachimura and Watanabe were among 20 players called up recently by Japan coach Julio Lamas for training ahead of the Olympics, Nagatsuka reports.