Japan B. League

Parks outworks Ramos in the clutch as Nagoya denies Toyama rally

JR Isaga
Parks outworks Ramos in the clutch as Nagoya denies Toyama rally

CLUTCH. Ray Parks sinks a decisive triple that allowed Nagoya to pull away to a win.

Japan B. League

Ray Parks propels Nagoya to a thrilling win over the Toyoma Grouses

MANILA, Philippines – The Toyama Grouses started off the weekend in heartbreaking fashion as the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins denied their late rally for a 90-85 home win on Saturday, December 18.

Ray Parks picked his spots carefully in the thrilling affair and finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 3-of-6 from three, highlighted by a clutch triple off a costly Dwight Ramos turnover that sealed the deal with 14 seconds left, 90-83.

Ramos, meanwhile, filled the stat sheet in the tough loss with 11 markers, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals as Nagoya and Toyama continued to mirror each other in the standings at 13-7 and 7-13, respectively.

The game actually had the makings of a blowout with 1:52 left in the 2nd quarter as Nagoya rode a 27-10 start to leave Toyama in the dust with a 23-point lead, 56-33.

The Dolphins, who still led by 17 with 7:50 left in the third period, saw their hold of the game disappear as the Grouses broke out of their slump with a 14-2 run, capped by two Joshua Smith free throws with 4:11 left to inch within five, 58-63.

Back-and-forth action ensued from that point onwards as Toyama finally forced an 81-all deadlock with 4:31 left in the final frame, setting up the nail-biting endgame, which Nagoya eventually secured for the win.

Star Dolphins import Scott Eatherton led all scorers with a 24-point, 10-rebound double-double, backstopped by fellow reinforcement Coty Clarke’s 16 markers off the bench with 6 boards and 5 assists.

Former NBA player Brice Johnson paced the loss with 20 points and 9 rebounds on a near-perfect 10-of-12 shooting, while fellow import Julian Mavunga, who previously averaged 18.3 points, was held to just 9 markers, albeit with 8 assists.

Toyama can seek revenge against Nagoya in their Sunday, December 19 rematch at 2:05 pm, Manila time.

The Scores:

Nagoya 90 – Eatherton 24, Clarke 16, Parks 15, Harimoto 9, Karino 9, Saito 7, Dozier 4, Ito 4, Nakahigashi 2.

Toyama 85 – Johnson 20, Hareyama 12, Ramos 11, Matsui 10, Mavunga 9, Uto 8, Smith 8, Kamisawa 5, Mito 2, Ono 0, Abe 0.

Quarters: 29-23, 56-40, 73-71, 90-85.