Japan B. League

Kobe Paras sizzles in 3rd quarter as Niigata completes rare sweep

JR Isaga
Kobe Paras sizzles in 3rd quarter as Niigata completes rare sweep

BACK AT IT. Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex rediscover their winning ways.


Kobe Paras pumps in a perfect shooting clip in the pivotal third frame as Niigata storms back from 16 points down against Ibaraki

MANILA, Philippines – After losing 26 straight games, the Niigata Albirex BB are now proud owners of a two-game winning streak in the Japan B. League after sweeping the Ibaraki Robots, 87-79, on Sunday, January 30.

With two new wins in the bag, Niigata has risen to 4-27 for the season, albeit still in the league cellar, and last in the East District below the 6-25 Ibaraki.

Kobe Paras was again instrumental to the win, as he made up for two fouls in the first minute of the game by scoring all 9 of his points on a perfect 4-of-4 clip in the pivotal third frame, where Niigata outscored Ibaraki, 27-16.

However, it looked bleak for the Albirex early in the second quarter, as they went down by as many as 16, 18-34, following a 12-0 Robots start.

But Niigata vaporized its deficit with a huge 23-6 comeback bridging the two halves to lead, 43-40, at the 5:54 mark of the third quarter, and dictated the tempo from there.

Although Ibaraki fought well, and still seized a 49-47 lead, Niigata again pulled ahead with a 13-4 response, highlighted by a Paras three-pointer and capped by a Rosco Allen layup for the 60-53 gap with 14 ticks left in the frame.

It was still all Albirex offense in the final frame even without Paras as they peaked with an 11-point separation, 85-74, off late Yuto Nohmi free throws with only 40 seconds left in regulation.

Allen once again led the balanced Niigata effort with a full line of 22 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 7-of-10 shooting, while Nohmi added 20 markers on a 4-of-8 clip from three.

World imports Eric Jacobsen and Marc Trasolini paced Ibaraki’s second straight loss with 17 and 15 points, respectively, while Asian import Javi Gomez de Liaño remained deactivated from the roster.

Paras and the Albirex can make it three wins in a row on Wednesday, February 2, as they face the Utsunomiya Brex at 6:25 pm, Manila time.

Meanwhile, Gomez de Liaño can crack the rotation again on the same day as the Robots take on the Akita Northern Happinets at 6:05 pm.

The Scores

Niigata 87 – Allen 22, Nohmi 20, Ayres 14, Endo 12, Paras 9, Nephawe 6, Ohya 2, Kimura 2, Watanuki 0, Sato 0, Ikeda 0.

Ibaraki 79 – Jacobsen 17, Trasolini 15, Tajima 12, Hirao 9, Tapscott 9, Fukuzawa 5, Tsurumaki 5, Nakamura 5, You 2, Takahashi 0.

Quarters: 18-22, 33-38, 60-54, 87-79.

– Rappler.com

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