MANILA, Philippines – Dwight Ramos and the Toyama Grouses got back on the winning track with a rousing 93-87 victory over the Seahorses Mikawa in the Japan B. League on Saturday, January 22 at the Wing Arena Kariya.
Ramos finished with 5 points on 2-of-4 shooting in the win, to go along with 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 block as the Grouses bounced back from their previous loss prior to the league’s All-Star break and improved to 11-18 in the standings.
Former TNT import Joshua Smith led the way for Toyama with 26 points and 9 rebounds, while Brice Johnson tallied 20 markers and 10 boards.
After trailing by 7 points, 66-73, early in the fourth frame, Toyama’s offense suddenly came alive as it unleashed a quick 9-0 rally to lead by 2, 75-73, off a jumper by Smith with 6:51 remaining.
It was a back-and-forth affair between both squads in the following minutes, and with the Grouses up by just 1, 88-87, with 1:58 left, Smith and Naoki Uto converted on two straight baskets to push their lead to a two-possession game, 92-87, which ultimately sealed the deal for Toyama.
Davante Gardner topscored for Mikawa with 20 points, while Ryogo Sumino and Jarrod Uthoff added 16 and 14 markers, respectively.
Toyama will look to complete the weekend sweep of Mikawa when they meet once again on Sunday, January 23, at 2:05 pm, Manila time.
Like Ramos and the Grouses, Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins also returned to their winning ways off a 90-60 blowout of the visiting Levanga Hokkaido at the Dolphins Arena.
Coming off a long break, Nagoya, which improved its record to 19-8, started off slow and trailed by double figures, 15-26, at the end of the opening period.
The Dolphins, however, managed to turn things around in the second quarter as they outscored the Levanga, 28-9, for a 43-35 lead at the half.
It was all Nagoya from there on as it managed to stretch its 8-point halftime lead to 19 points at the end of the third frame, 71-52, which proved too big for Hokkaido to overcome with only 10 minutes left to play.
Scott Eatherton and Coty Clarke put up 20 and 19 points, respectively, for the Dolphins, while Yutaro Suda chipped in 12.
Parks, meanwhile, missed all of his five attempts from the field and finished with only 1 point, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Shawn Long and De’Mon Brooks paced the Levanga with 14 points apiece, while Daniel Miller contributed 8.
Nagoya will look to make it two in a row when it clashes with Hokkaido anew on Sunday, also at 2:05 pm, Manila time.
In another Division 1 affair, the Ibaraki Robots, who did not have Javi Gomez de Liaño in their active roster, endured a heartbreaking 81-79 loss to the Hiroshima Dragonflies.
With the score knotted at 79-all, Hiroshima’s Nick Mayo sank the game-winning jumper with 2 seconds left on the clock as the Dragonflies sent the Gomez de Liaño-less Robots crashing to their fourth straight loss.
Ibaraki, which moved down to 5-22 in the standings, will get another shot against Hiroshima on Sunday at 1:05 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com