Dwight Ramos and the Toyama Grouses as well as Matthew Aquino and the Shinshu Brave Warriors advanced to the next round while the Ravena brothers, Kiefer and Thirdy, made their respective exits in the All-Japan Basketball Championship Monday, Nov. 1 in Hokkaido and Osaka.
Toyama survived the Ibaraki Robots and escaped with a 94-87 win while Shinshu edged out a 69-67 victory over the Hiroshima Dragonfly.
Ramos scored five points to go with four rebounds and three assists for the Grouses while Aquino sat out of the game against Hiroshima.
Taking command in the entirety of the match, the Grouses saw their early 16-point lead in the second quarter collapse as the Robots came back strong in the second half.
Ibaraki trimmed the lead down to two, 87-85, with 1:24 remaining in the payoff period before it all boiled down to the clutch free-throwing showing of Toyama’s Joshua Smith and Keijuro Matsui.
Smith led the Grouses with 21 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, Julian Mavunga fired 20 markers, while Matsui and Bryce Johnson scored 15 and 10 points, respectively.
The Ravena brothers, for their part, almost suffered the same bitter fate as the Alvark Tokyo routed Shiga, 92-75, and the Kagawa Five Arrows conquered San-En, 95-71.
Kiefer posted 12 points, two steals, and one assist for the Lakestars as his brother Thirdy couldn’t find his scoring groove with seven points on a three-of-14 shooting clip to go with seven rebounds, two assists, and one steal.