MANILA, Philippines – Ray Parks finally regained his shooting touch as he helped the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins take down the Alvark Tokyo, 86-80, in the Japan B. League on Wednesday, January 26.
Parks, who averaged just 3 points in the Dolphins’ last three games, finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, along with 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in the victory as they improved their record to 21-8 – tying Tokyo at No. 4 in the standings.
Coming off convincing back-to-back weekend wins, Nagoya rode on its hot momentum and quickly built a double-digit cushion at halftime, 47-35.
The Dolphins even managed to extend their advantage to as many 17 points, 59-42, midway through the third period, before the Alvark came roaring back in the final frame, cutting the lead back to just 5 points, 81-76, with 2 minutes left to play.
Nagoya’s Takumi Saito, however, crushed any hopes of a Tokyo comeback as he sank a booming three-pointer with just 41 seconds remaining to push the Dolphins’ lead back to a three-possession game, 84-76.
Saito led the way for the Dolphins with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 9-of-14 shooting, while Shayne Whittington and Coty Clarke added 15 and 12 points, respectively.
On the other side, Jordan Taylor topscored for the Alvark with 18 points, while Sebastian Saiz tallied a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Parks will look to sustain his fine play for the Dolphins when they host the Utsunomiya Brex on Saturday, January 29, at 2:05 pm, Manila time.
Also in Division 1, Matthew Aquino and the Shinshu Brave Warriors suffered a heartbreaking 86-85 loss to the league-leading Ryukyu Golden Kings.
With Shinshu leading by 2, 85-83, with only 12 seconds remaining, Ryukyu’s Ryuichi Kishimoto converted on the game-winning three-pointer in the following possession as the Golden Kings completed the huge come-from-behind win.
Aquino, who did not see action for the Brave Warriors in the loss, will look to get some minutes when they take on the Osaka Evessa on Saturday, also at 2:05 pm, Manila time.
Finally, the Ibaraki Robots, who are still missing the services of their Filipino import Javi Gomez de Liaño due to an ankle injury, took down the Gunma Crane Thunders, 91-84.
Ibaraki, which snapped its five-game losing skid, will look to make it two in a row when they face Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB on Saturday, at 4:05 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com