MANILA, Philippines – Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB snapped their two-game losing streak with a convincing 96-79 win over the Gunma Crane Thunders in the Japan B. League on Sunday, February 6.
Paras, however, remained silent on the offensive end as he went scoreless in 16 minutes of action and finished with just 2 rebounds and 1 assist for Niigata, which improved its record to 5-29.
Coming off a 19-point loss to the Crane Thunders on Saturday, February 5, the Albirex BB once again started off on the wrong foot and quickly trailed by 11 points, 13-24, at the end of the opening period.
Luckily for the Albirex BB, they managed to turn things around in the second period, outscoring the Crane Thunders, 30-17, for a 43-41 halftime lead.
Niigata never looked back in the second half as it unleashed another 30-14 rally in the third quarter to extend its slim 2-point advantage to a comfortable 18-point cushion, 73-55, which proved too much for Gunma to overcome the rest of the way.
Rosco Allen shone anew for Niigata with an all-around game of 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Jeff Ayres and Keigo Kimura poured in 18 points apiece.
Trey Jones paced Gunma with a game-high 29 points, while Aki Chambers chipped in 20 markers.
Paras and the Albirex BB will get a month of rest before they return to action on Saturday, March 5, against the Akita Northern Happinets.
Like Niigata, Javi Gomez de Liaño and the Ibaraki Robots wrapped up their two-game series against the Toyama Grouses with a rousing 85-79 win.
Already leading by as many as 26 points, 35-9, late in the opening period, the Robots failed to maintain their huge double-digit advantage as the Grouses, who are missing the services of their Filipino import Dwight Ramos, came roaring back in the third quarter and tied the game at 54-all.
It was a back-and-forth duel between both teams early in the final frame and with the score still knotted at 79-all with only a minute left to play, the Robots went on a decisive 6-0 run to put the Ramos-less Grouses away for good.
With the win, Ibaraki moved up to 7-26, while Toyama dropped to 14-21 in the standings.
Chehales Tapscott showed the way for the Robots with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Eric Jacobsen and Keita Tsurumaki added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Gomez de Liaño, meanwhile, did not get to put up any numbers for the second consecutive game as he only played a total of 1 minute and 15 seconds in the victory.
Brice Johnson topscored for the Grouses with 24 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, while Joshua Smith, who exploded for 29 points in their win on Saturday, was held to just 18 markers and 13 boards.
Ibaraki and Toyama will also enjoy the league’s scheduled stoppage and will be back on the hardwood on March 5 when they go up against the Kyoto Hannaryz and the Sunrockers Shibuya, respectively.
Finally, in Division 1, Matt Aquino the Shinshu Brave Warriors completed the weekend sweep of the Hannaryz with a 72-51 victory.
Aquino suited up for 5 minutes and tallied 3 rebounds for the Brave Warriors as they continued to climb up the standings with a 16-17 record.
Shinshu will look to sustain its hot momentum and make it five wins in a row when they face the Hiroshima Dragonflies on Saturday, February 12, at 2:05 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com