Albirex’s fast start leads to blowout win against Magic


A quick start ignited the Niigata Albirex BB in Sunday’s series finale against the visiting Shimane Susanoo Magic.

The Albirex jumped out to a 24-5 lead at the end of the first quarter in a runaway 87-55 victory to complete a series sweep in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture.

Coach Kazuhiro Shoji’s club shot 11-for-18 from 3-point range in the impressive win.

Veteran shooting guard Masashi Joho sank 4 of 7 3s in a 20-point performance for Niigata (2-0) and Davante Gardner had 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Tenyoku You finished with nine points and Shunki Hatakeyama, Yuichi Ikeda, Jared Berggren and Austin Dufault all had eight-point outings for the Albirex.

Hatakeyama handed out six assists.

For Shimane (0-2), Brendan Lane contributed 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, while Kimitake Sato scored 11 points. Josh Scott added nine points and Shota Watanabe doled out five assists.

Alvark 68, Evessa 65

In Osaka, Daiki Tanaka energized Tokyo with a 14-point, six-rebound, three-assist, two-steal effort to help lead his club to a narrow win over the Evessa.

Seiya Ando poured in 10 points and rookie center Landen Lucas, a University of Kansas product, had nine points and a block in 12-plus minutes of court time for the Alvark (2-0). Joji Takeuchi chipped in with nine points, eight boards and four assists.

David Wear had 17 points for Osaka (0-2). Shota Konno scored 14 points, Shinnosuke Negoro had 10 and Hiroyuki Kinoshita eight.

Six Evessa players dished out two assists apiece, and Gyno Pomare hauled in 10 rebounds

Levanga 85, Grouses 83

In Toyama, Hokkaido overcame a 19-point deficit after three quarters to secure a series split with the hosts.

The Levanga (1-1) outscored the Grouses 34-14 in the fourth quarter.

Greg Whittington scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the final period. Teammate Marc Trasolini had 11 of his 23 points in the fourth, including 7 of 7 from the foul line.

Hokkaido was 12-for-12 from the charity stripe in the final quarter, finishing 22-for-25 overall.

Whittington converted 5 of 6 3-point attempts and grabbed nine rebounds. Trasolini made five steals.

Ryota Sakurai poured in nine points and Zen Maki contributed seven points and four assists for the visitors.

For Toyama (1-1), Naoki Uto led the club with 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting. He also contributed nine rebounds and six assists. Yuki Ueta and Dexter Pittman both scored 15 points, with Ueta canning 4 of 6 3s. Pittman pulled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots in 15-plus minutes.

Sam Willard finished with nine points for the Grouses.

Toyama had 21 assists and 18 turnovers.

Jets 93, Storks 72

In Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Chiba routed the hosts for the second time in as many days.

The Jets (2-0) won their season opener by a 16-point margin on Saturday.

In the series finale, Yuki Togashi paced Chiba with 23 points and nine assists. Michael Parker and Ryumo Ono added 18 points apiece. Kosuke Ishii knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in an 11-point effort, while Aki Chambers contributed eight points and five assists.

Parker, who shot 7-for-10 from the floor, grabbed a team-best nine boards, helping the Jets outrebound the Storks 41-33. Chiba’s Tony Gaffney collected seven rebounds.

Nishinomiya trailed 29-17 after one quarter and 50-33 at halftime.

Connor Lammert and Naoki Tani both scored 13 points for the Storks (0-2). Tadahiro Yanagawa and Noriaki Dohara had 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Tani and Yanagawa were the team leaders in assists (five), with Draelon Burns dishing out four. Lammert pulled down 10 rebounds and swatted three shots.

Hannaryz 65, NeoPhoenix 63

In Kyoto, the hosts held off San-en’s spirited second-half comeback to complete a series sweep.

The NeoPhoenix (0-2) fell just short, despite outscoring the Hannaryz 23-11 in the fourth quarter.

Kyoto center Joshua Smith notched a double-double (21 points, 16 rebounds) and shot 10 of 14 from the field. The 208-cm newcomer attended UCLA and Georgetown, completing his collegiate career with the Hoyas in 2015. He went undrafted. (Another guy named Josh Smith was selected No. 17 overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2004 NBA Draft.)

Julian Mavunga contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Hannaryz (2-0), who led 35-20 at halftime. Shun Watanuki had eight points, while Shingo Utsumi Masaharu Kataoka and Yuya Nagayoshi finished with six apiece.

Nagayoshi also chipped in with nine rebounds and shared the team lead in blocks (two) with Mavunga.

Hayato Kawashima sparked San-en with 14 points. Tatsuya Suzuki had 10 points and five assists and Scott Morrison added 10 points and nine boards. Shingo Okada scored nine points.

B2 update

Here are the results of Sunday’s games:

Samuraiz 89, Five Arrows 86

Brave Warriors 88, Wat’s 75

Fighting Eagles 79, 89ers 72

Northern Happinets 69, Volters 54

Robots 74, Big Bulls 60

Bambitious 79, Wyverns 77

Rizing Zephyr 70, Crane Thunders 66

Earthfriends 88, Orange Vikings 86

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