Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB suffered their fifth straight loss in the Japan B. League after falling to the Seahorses Mikawa in a heartbreaker, 77-75, on Saturday, October 23 at the Niigata Higashi General Sports Center.
After suffering a 23-point loss on Friday, the Albirex BB delivered a much better showing in front of their home fans as they went toe-to-toe with the Seahorses until the very last possession, where opposing import Davante Gardner hit the game-winning hook shot with 1 second remaining to complete a weekend sweep of Niigata.
Paras, who sank a crucial game-tying floater in the previous possession that could’ve put the game into overtime, finished with an all-around game of 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks as the Albirex BB now dropped to 2-6 in the standings.
Trailing by 2 points, 36-38, at halftime, Paras and the Albirex BB flipped the switch in the third period as they outscored the Seahorses, 27-20, for a 63-58 lead heading into the final frame.
The Albirex BB, however, failed to sustain their momentum as the Seahorses managed to tie the ball game at 70-all with 4:21 left to play.
Niigata’s Rosco Allen then came up with a huge three-point play to put the Albirex BB up by 3, 73-70, with 3:16 remaining, but the Seahorses once again responded with a blazing 5-0 run to snatch the lead back, 75-73.
With Niigata down by just two, Paras calmly swished a floater to tie the game at 75-all, before Gardner sealed the deal with the game-winning hook for Mikawa.
Gardner finished with 23 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds in the victory, while Yudai Nishida added 12 markers for the Seahorses, who improved to a 6-2 record.
Allen topscored for the Albirex BB with 18 points along with 10 rebounds, while Tshilidzi Nephawe and Kimitake Sato had 16 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss.
Paras and the rest of the Albirex BB will look to snap out of their five-game losing skid when they take on the Alvark Tokyo on Wednesday, October 27 at 6:05 pm, Manila time.
Mikawa 77 – Gardner 23, Nishida 12, Collinsworth 11, Nagano 11, Uthoff 8, Sumino 7, Schafer 3, Negoro 2, Kashiwagi 0.
Niigata 75 – Allen 18, Nephawe 16, Sato 11, Ayres 9, Yohmi 8, Paras 6, Ikeda 4, Ohya 3, Okamoto 0.
Quarters: 17-12, 38-36, 58-63, 77-75.