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MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Hiroshima Dragonflies moved within one win of a semifinal berth in the Japan B. League after pulling off a 72-70 upset over the league-leading Chiba Jets in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinals at the Funubashi Arena on Saturday, May 13.
With the game tied at 70-all following a triple by Chiba’s Vic Law, Hiroshima’s Kerry Blackshear Jr. swished two cold-blooded free throws with only 9.4 seconds to go, which proved to be the game winner as Jets guard Yuki Togashi failed to convert on his potential game-tying floater in the final play.
Dwayne Evans II topscored with 16 points for Hiroshima – which almost squandered an 8-point lead, 70-62, with just 2 minutes and 36 seconds left – while Blackshear delivered a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The 7-foot-3 Sotto, who recently celebrated his 21st birthday, made the most of his playing time for the Dragonflies, tallying 7 points on 3-of-4 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in close to 16 minutes.
Law, meanwhile, led the Jets with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Hiroshima goes for the kill on Sunday, May 14 when it collides with Chiba anew at 2:05 pm, Manila time.
Over at the Okinawa Arena, Carl Tamayo and the Ryukyu Golden Kings punched their ticket to the semifinals with a 92-81 triumph against the Ray Parks-less Nagoya Diamond Dolphins in Game 2 of their best-of-three quarterfinal affair.
Tamayo, however, was a non-factor for the Golden Kings as he failed to put up any numbers aside from his 1 turnover and 1 foul in his very limited playing time of 2 minutes and 8 seconds.
The former UP Fighting Maroons star Tamayo logged in a DNP in the Golden Kings’ 91-85 Game 1 victory versus the Diamond Dolphins on Friday, May 12.
Ryukyu relied heavily on three-time PBA best import Allen Durham, who dropped a huge double-double of 30 points and 12 rebounds in the series-clincher. – Rappler.com