MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Hiroshima Dragonflies notched their third straight win in the Japan B. League after overpowering Matthew Wright and the Kyoto Hannaryz, 92-76, at the Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall on Saturday, April 1.
Sotto was one of five players to breach double-digit scoring for Hiroshima with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, together with an all-around stat line of 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
Wright, on the other side, struggled mightily from the field, converting on only 3 of his 13 attempts to wind up with 7 points, along with 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.
Already ahead by 16 points in the early goings of the third period, 43-27, Hiroshima failed to keep its momentum going and saw its double-digit advantage trimmed to just 6, 51-45, with 3:39 to play in the quarter.
The Dragonflies, however, quickly got their groove back and even extended their lead to its biggest at 21 points, 82-61, off an alley-oop jam by Sotto halfway through the final frame.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the charge for Hiroshima with 19 points, while Dwayne Evans II added 15. Like his fellow Hiroshima center Sotto, Nick Mayo also dropped 14 markers in the wire-to-wire victory, while Ryo Terashima chipped in 11.
For Kyoto, former NBA big man Cheick Diallo posted a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Yoshiaki Kubota contributed 18 points.
The fifth-seeded Dragonflies hiked their record to 34-12, while the 18th-ranked Hannaryz fell to 16-30.
Over at the Shiga Daihatsu Arena, Kiefer Ravena continued his stellar play for the Shiga Lakes as they outlasted the Yokohama B-Corsairs for their fourth straight win, 102-95.
Ravena scored in double figures for the fourth game in a row, putting up 16 points built on three long bombs, on top of 2 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Lakes, however, remained at the third to the last spot of the standings with a 10-36 card.
In Division 2, Jordan Heading made it rain from beyond the arc to lead the Nagasaki Velca to a 91-75 victory over the Saga Ballooners.
Heading cashed in four of his seven attempts from long distance to finish with a game-high 20 points, to go along with 2 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 steal for the No. 4 Velca, who improved to a 38-15 slate.
Also in Division 2, Greg Slaughter’s efficient outing for the Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka went to waste as they fell prey to the Roosevelt Adams-less Kagawa Five Arrows, 75-67.
Slaughter put up 13 points on an almost perfect 6-of-7 clip from the field, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 blocks.
With the loss, the 11th-placed Rizing Zephyr slid to a 16-37 record, while the Five Arrows, who are just two spots behind, moved up to a 15-38 card.
San-En NeoPhoenix def. Toyama Grouses, 79-73. (Thirdy Ravena – 5 points, 1-of-5 field goal, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 23:35 minutes.)
Shinshu Brave Warriors def. Ibaraki Robots, 84-77. (Matt Aquino – 3 points, 1-of-2 field goal, 1 block, 6:30 minutes.)
Niigata Albirex BB def. Levanga Hokkaido, 92-81. (Dwight Ramos – 4 points, 2-of-6 field goal, 3 rebounds, 18:09 minutes.)
Chiba Jets def. Ryukyu Golden Kings, 89-85. (Carl Tamayo – 2:16 minutes.)
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