Japan B. League

Ramos, Toyama blow late double-digit lead against Ryukyu to stay winless

JR Isaga
Ramos, Toyama blow late double-digit lead against Ryukyu to stay winless

SKID. Dwight Ramos and the Toyama Grouses drop another close match.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

Dwight Ramos misses a desperate game-tying triple at the buzzer as the Toyama Grouses collapse again versus the Ryukyu Golden Kings

The Toyama Grouses completely fumbled a chance to earn a breakthrough win at home as they blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead en route to an 83-80 escape by the Ryukyu Golden Kings on Sunday, October 24.

The Grouses remained as the only winless team in the 22-team Division 1 with a 0-8 record, while the Kings rose to 6-2 for a momentary share of second place in the West district and the league overall.

Local guard Hayato Maki, previously averaging just 2.4 points, erupted for 15 markers to lead six Ryukyu players in double-digit scoring. Longtime PBA import Allen Durham was held to 1-of-6 shooting, but still had 10 points off an 8-of-8 clip from the line.

On the losing end, Dwight Ramos missed a desperate game-tying triple at the buzzer, and finished with modest numbers of 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block on 5-of-10 shooting.

Prior to their last-gasp attempt to save the game, the Grouses were well within control after leading by 12 at the start of the fourth quarter, 67-55, off an and-one conversion from all-around import Julian Mavunga.

However, the powerhouse Ryukyu woke up from its slumber, and rallied with a momentum-swinging 22-6 run capped by a Naoki Tashiro triple with 2:23 left in regulation for the sudden four-point lead, 77-73.

After two consecutive Ramos buckets to chip away at the deficit, both teams then played the free-throw game in the closing minutes, ending with Kings import Jack Cooley leaving the door open with split charities for the 83-80 lead with 11 ticks left.

In that span, Toyama actually had two chances to tie the game, but Toshiki Kamisawa pulled the trigger too early from way downtown, leading to a Mavunga offensive board and a pass for the well-contested Ramos heave that only hit the backboard.

Mavunga led all scorers in the heartbreaking loss with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists, while former PBA import Joshua Smith churned out a 16-marker, 12-board double-double.

The Grouses will try again for a long-sought breakthrough on Wednesday, October 27, against the Osaka Evessa.

The Scores

Ryukyu 83 – Maki 15, Kishimoto 14, Tashiro 12, Namizato 11, Cooley 11, Durham 10, Evans 6, Imamura 2, Kotera 2.

Toyama 80 – Mavunga 24, Smith 16, Ramos 12, Matsui 8, Johnson 8, Uto 4, Kamisawa 3, Abe 3, Hareyama 2, Ono 0, Mito 0.

Quarters: 19-19, 37-36, 55-64, 83-80.

– Rappler.com