The Shinshu Brave Warriors survived the Osaka Evessa’s late-game scare and got away with an 85-82 win as Filipino forward Matthew Aquino remained on the bench in his debut in Division I of the Japan B.League at the Ookini Arena Maishima Saturday, Oct. 23.
Trailing only by one point, 81-82, Anthony McHenry fired a go-ahead jumper to reverse Shinshu’s fate and take an 83-82 lead with 28 seconds to go.
DJ Newbill, who earlier took the lead for Osaka, already scored his 29th point of the game but missed a crucial jump shot at the 19-second mark which resulted in a McHenry defensive rebound.
The Evessa were forced to tap another foul but Yudai Okada’s back-to-back free throw finally iced the game for Shinshu with still 15 ticks to go.
Osaka’s Kinoshita decided to go for a quick play but missed another jumper as the Warriors tied the Evessa at twin 3-4 records.
McHenry, Okada, and Reio Maeda chalked up 14 points apiece for the Warriors while Aquino has yet to make a formal appearance on the court.
Newbill, for his part, paced Osaka with 29 markers, four rebounds, three assists, one steal while Perry Ellis and Kyle Hunt both added 10 points.
The Warriors were leading the entirety of the ball game and even pulled off a 12-point advantage, 69-57, at the 3:23 mark capped by a Toshiya Mitsui drive off a fastbreak play.
But Osaka fought back and broke free of its early slump after unloading a commanding 12-4 run, 73-69, to cut the deficit by four led by Newbill’s offense heading into the payoff period.
Shinshu and Osaka will settle their score in a rematch Sunday, Oct. 24 at 3:05 p.m. (Manila time).