A roundup of other sports news, as seen from Japan, from the past few days:
- The Utsunomiya Brex raised their game after Saturday’s defeat to post a convincing 83-59 victory over the Chiba Jets Funabashi in Game 2 of the B. League Finals on Sunday, Kaz Nagatsuka reports. The result sets the stage for a climactic Game 3 on Tuesday.
- The Samurai Blue secured their spot in the next round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on Friday, with Yuya Osako scoring four goals in a decisive double-digit win over an outmatched Myanmar in Chiba, Dan Orlowitz reports.
- A strong field promised a dramatic race, and it delivered. Fourth favorite Shahryar nosed past top favorite Efforia at the wire to win the 88th Grade 1 Japanese Derby, the second leg of the Japanese triple crown, on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse.
- Japan head coach Jamie Joseph named captain Michael Leitch, fullback/wing Kotaro Matsushima and No. 8 Kazuki Himeno among 36 players for a European tour that will see the Brave Blossoms face the British & Irish Lions and then battle Ireland.
- Justin Smoak homered and drove in three runs to lift the Yomiuri Giants past the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 4-3 on Sunday in interleague action. The victory was Yomiuri’s first against SoftBank since June 2019, snapping a streak of 11 straight losses.