Ryukyu keeps Toyama winless as Ramos, Grouses waste lead

Published October 24, 2021, 2:44 PM

by Reynald I. Magallon

Dwight Ramos and his Toyama Grouses couldn’t keep a fourth quarter lead as they succumbed to Ryukyu Golden Kings, 83-80, in the second of their back-to-back games in B.League at the Toyama Prefectural West Sports Center on Sunday, October 24.

Photo from Toyama Grouses

The Grouses faltered in the final frame after leading by as many as 12 points early on. Toyama had a hard time containing Golden Kings guard Ryuichi Kishimoto who sparked his team’s blistering fourth quarter rally with 11 of his 14 points, built on three three-pointers.

Ramos kept his team in the game despite losing the lead after sinking a jumper that cut the lead to two, 79-70, with a little over a minute left in the game. Ryukyu, however, was steady from the foul line, scoring four straight free throws to keep Toyama at bay

Ramos had a quiet 12 points and six rebounds as world imports Julian Mavunga and Joshua Smith carried the load with 24 and 16 markers respectively for the still winless Toyama.

Hayato Maki scored 15 points as he spearheaded Ryukyu’s balance attack with six players scoring in twin digits.

Toyama had the upper hand early in the fourth quarter following an 18-7 explosion bridging the third and final frame to turn a tight 49-48 lead to a comfortable 67-55 advantage with still nine minutes left in the game.

The Grouses offense, however, suffered from several droughts in the following sequences as Ryukyu rallied with its 28 fourth quarter points against Toyama’s 16.