Japan B. League

Niigata losses reach quarter-century mark as Kobe Paras goes scoreless anew

JR Isaga
Niigata losses reach quarter-century mark as Kobe Paras goes scoreless anew

TOUGH WEEKEND. Kobe Paras warms up before the Niigata-Shinshu game.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

Kobe Paras winds up scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time in his pro career as Matt Aquino’s Shinshu sends Niigata to its 25th straight loss

MANILA, Philippines – The Shinshu Brave Warriors comfortably cruised through the Japan B. League weekend as they sent the Niigata Albirex BB to their 25th straight loss off an 89-59 road blowout on Sunday, January 23.

Filipino-Japanese big man Matt Aquino only played in garbage time with the win no longer in doubt, but still hustled for 2 points and 1 block in just 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, his fellow Pinoy Kobe Paras went scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time in his pro career as he finished with a 0-of-4 shooting clip and 1 steal in 13 minutes. The former UP Maroons standout has now tallied three of his four scoreless outings in the last five games.

Mirroring their horrid start just 24 hours prior, the Albirex again failed to breach double-digit scoring in the first quarter, 7-15.

Although they picked up the pace a bit, and trailed by just 6, 23-29, with 3:23 left in the second, Shinshu quickly zoomed out of arm’s reach with a 9-0 run for the 38-23 lead with 9 ticks left in the half.

The game only got progressively worse for Niigata in the latter two quarters as the Brave Warriors peaked with a 34-point gap, 85-51, at the 1:33 mark of the final frame.

The entire nine-man Shinshu rotation scored in the easy win, led by Josh Hawkinson’s 21-point, 15-rebound double-double en route to a 12-16 record.

Meanwhile, NBA champion center Jeff Ayres paced another embarrassing defeat with 17 markers and 7 boards as Niigata sank to a 2-26 slate.

Aquino and Shinshu can keep up their much-needed winning streak with an upset over the league-leading Ryukyu Golden Kings, owners of a 23-3 record, on Wednesday, January 26, 6:05 pm, Manila time.

Meanwhile, Paras and Niigata can try for their first win since October 9, 2021 against the 11-16 Levanga Hokkaido on the same day and time slot.

The Scores

Shinshu 89 – Hawkinson 21, Kumagai 14, McHenry 12, Kurihara 11, Yang 9, Marshall 8, Maeda 6, Mitsui 6, Aquino 2.

Niigata 59 – Ayres 17, Nohmi 16, Allen 13, Nephawe 8, Kimura 3, Ikeda 2, Endo 0, Okamoto 0, Ohya 0, Paras 0.

Quarters: 15-7, 38-26, 63-39, 89-59.

– Rappler.com