Connect with us


B.League Playoffs: 8 Teams Commence Hunt for the Title

The Utsunomiya Brex (51-9) had the best regular-season record in the B.League, and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins have the longest current winning streak.



Power forward Grant Jerrett, a former NBA player, helped lead the Utsunomiya Brex to 51 wins in 60 games during the 2023-24 season. (B.LEAGUE)

Read the full story on SportsLook - B.League Playoffs: 8 Teams Commence Hunt for the Title

The 2023-24 B.League season began with the reigning champion Ryukyu Golden Kings beating the Saga Ballooners 80-63 at Saga Arena in the opening game on October 5, 2023.

For the B.League's 24 teams, who played 60 games apiece, the quest to make the playoffs was a success for eight teams. And the other 16 clubs now face an offseason of decisions, especially personnel choices for the 2024-25 campaign, most notably the makeup of their rosters and coaching staffs.

The first round (also referred to as the quarterfinals) of the B.League playoffs features a quartet of teams that have combined to win all of the championship titles since the league was established in 2016. Moreover, four playoff entrants are seeking to prove that their success in the regular season was no fluke.

Matchups for the best-of-three opening-round series are as follows: Utsunomiya Brex (51-9 record in the regular season) vs Chiba Jets (35-25), Alvark Tokyo (48-12) vs Ryukyu Golden Kings (41-19), Nagoya Diamond Dolphins (41-19) vs SeaHorses Mikawa (36-24) and San-en NeoPhoenix (46-14) vs Hiroshima Dragonflies (36-24).

Game dates: The Alvark and the Brex open their playoff campaigns on Friday, May 10 at Ariake Coliseum and Nikkan Tochigi Arena, respectively. In both series, games 2 and 3 are scheduled for Saturday, May 11, and, if necessary, Monday, May 13. 

Meanwhile, the NeoPhoenix are set to begin their postseason competition at home on Saturday at Toyohashi City General Gymnasium in Aichi Prefecture. Games 2 and 3 are penciled in for Sunday and Monday.

In Nagoya, the Diamond Dolphins will host Games 1, 2 and 3 (if needed to determine the series winner) on May 11-13 at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

A Quick Look at the B.League Playoff Matchups

Brex vs Jets

Utsunomiya is on a roll entering the playoffs, riding a four-game winning streak.

In addition, coach Norio Sassa's team had a 26-4 regular-season record at home.

Chiba, which won its first B.League title in the 2020-21 season, was 17-13 in road games. Coach John Patrick's squad captured the East Asia Super League title and the All Japan Basketball Championship, aka the Emperor's Cup, crown this spring.

The Brex, winners of two B.League titles, went 4-0 against the Jets this season, including 82-55 and 85-74 wins on April 27 and 28 at Chiba Port Arena.

Chiba, coming off a championship runner-up season in 2022-23, averaged 84.2 points per game during the regular season. Utsunomiya put 81.6 ppg on the scoreboard.

Alvark Tokyo shooting guard Shuto Ando averaged 8.2 points per game this season. He had a season-best 23 points on March 27. (B.LEAGUE)

Alvark vs Golden Kings

Tokyo and Ryukyu had a two-game clash on February 3 and 4 at Yoyogi National Stadium. Both teams collected a win. The two-time B.League champion Alvark won the opener 91-80, and the Golden Kings bounced back with a 76-74 triumph in the rematch.

Tokyo takes a three-game winning streak into the playoffs.


Ryukyu is 1-4 in its last five games.

The Alvark had a 21-9 home record this season, and the Golden Kings were 19-11 in away contests.

Spain national team center Sebastian Saiz is the Alvark's leading scorer (16.6 ppg). Jack Cooley is the Golden Kings' No 1 scorer (14.4) and Keita Imamura is second (13.4).

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven