Japan B. League

Late comeback not enough as Kobe, Niigata suffer 14th straight loss

Martin Mendoza
Late comeback not enough as Kobe, Niigata suffer 14th straight loss

TOUGH LUCK. Kobe Paras looks to regain his shooting touch.


Kobe Paras’ struggles continue as the Niigata Albirex BB fall short of snapping their losing streak in the Japan B. League

MANILA, Philippines – Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB’s long and tragic losing skid extended to 14 games as they bowed to the Sunrockers Shibuya, 79-70, in the Japan B. League on Saturday, December 11 at the Aoyama Gakuin Memorial Hall.

Paras’ shooting struggles continued as he finished with just 3 points on a dismal 1-of-6 shooting, to go with 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block for the Albirex BB, who dropped their 14th straight game and slipped further down the standings with a 2-15 record.

Coming off an embarrassing 31-point loss to the Akita Northern Happinets, Niigata came out with guns blazing and built a 16-13 lead over Shibuya at the end of the opening period.

The Sunrockers, however, proved why they are one of the strongest teams in the league as they unleashed a massive 29-12 run in the second frame for a comfortable 42-28 advantage at halftime.

Niigata managed to climb back midway through the fourth period, cutting the deficit to just 2, 64-62, but Shibuya uncorked another furious run to put its lead back to double-digits, 76-66, which put the Albirex BB away for good with just 2 minutes remaining in the ball game.

Koyo Takashi led the way for Shibuya with 15 points, while James McAdoo and Kosuke Ishii added 12 points apiece.

Rosco Allen tallied a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds for Niigata, while Tshilidzi Nephawe contributed 13 points and 7 boards.

Paras and the Albirex BB will get another chance to snap their losing streak on Sunday, December 12, when they clash once again with the Sunrockers at 2:05 pm, Manila time.

Aquino, Shinshu absorb 3rd straight loss

In another Division 1 match, Matt Aquino and the Shinshu Brave Warriors suffered a heartbreaking 90-87 loss to the Gunma Crane Thunders at the Ota City Sports Park Gymnasium.

With the Brave Warriors leading by 1, 82-81, with 1:35 left in the ball game, the Crane Thunders unleashed a decisive 7-2 run to take an 88-84 lead with just 8 seconds remaining on the clock.

Shinshu’s Anthony McHenry knocked down a three-pointer in the following possession to cut the deficit to just 1, 87-88, but Justin Keenan quickly responded with two free throws to ultimately seal the win for Gunma.

Aquino, the Filipino-Japanese big man, made the most out of his limited playing time as he grabbed 2 rebounds and finished with a plus-minus of +2 in less than 4 minutes of action for the Brave Warriors, who have now lost three in a row and dropped to 9-8 in the standings.

They will look to get back on the win column on Sunday, when they face the Crane Thunders once again at 2:05 pm, Manila time. 

Meanwhile, in Division 2, the Kemark Cariño-less Aomori Wat’s absorbed a 78-61 loss to the Fukushima Firebonds at the Horaiya Koriyama Gymnasium.

The Wat’s, who remained at the bottom of the standings with a 2-18 record, will collide with the Firebonds anew on Sunday at 12:30 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com