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B.League's Utsunomiya Brex Extend Winning Streak to Nine

After back-to-back wins over the Nagasaki Velca, the Utsunomiya Brex are tied with the Alvark Tokyo for the best record in the B.League's Eastern Conference.



Utsunomiya Brex
Utsunomiya Brex point guard Atsuya Ogawa competes against the Nagasaki Velca in a B.League game on February 11, 2024, in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. (B.LEAGUE)

Read the full story on SportsLook - B.League's Utsunomiya Brex Extend Winning Streak to Nine

Is Atsuya Ogawa a good-luck charm for the Utsunomiya Brex?

It's hard to argue with that idea. After all, the B.League title-chasing team is unbeaten since the 21-year-old point guard made his 2023-24 B.League season debut on January 27. 

That said, Utsunomiya opened the season with 11 victories in 14 games, serving notice that coach Norio Sassa's club would be among the league's elite clubs.

Ogawa, a University of Tsukuba student, has appeared in seven of the Brex's last nine games, giving the team youthful exuberance off the bench. He also played in three games in the previous season in February 2023 as a specially designated player under contract as an amateur.

Upon returning to the Brex in January 2024, Ogawa expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity.

"I will do my best to contribute to the team as much as possible," the 190-cm guard was quoted as saying by Nikkan Sports.


On Sunday, February 11, Ogawa scored nine points on 4-for-6 shooting. He drained his lone free-throw attempt and dished out two assists in 9-plus productive minutes in Utsunomiya's 97-76 home victory in its series finale against the Nagasaki Velca on Sunday, February 11 at Brex Arena Utsunomiya.

Ogawa has had limited playing time for Utsunomiya, averaging 4 minutes and 31 seconds per game. At the same time, his team is in the midst of an impressive run.

Bolstered by a nine-game winning streak, the Brex (32-7) are tied with the Alvark Tokyo for the best record in the Eastern Conference. 

Utsunomiya Brex
Brex guard Atsuya Ogawa releases a high-arcing jumper over Velca guard Kenji Leon Matsumoto in the series finale. (B.LEAGUE)

A Quick Update on the B.League Playoff Picture

Furthermore, the Chiba Jets (25-14) are in position to qualify for the postseason as a wild card. (The top two finishers in the East, Central and West advance to the playoffs plus two wild cards make up the eight-team playoff field.) 

Meanwhile, the East's Akita Northern Happinets and the Gunma Crane Thunders (both with 21-18 records) are aiming to improve their playoff prospects when the regular season resumes in early March. Gunma has won six straight.

A quick look at the Central: The San-en NeoPhoenix (34-5) are running away with the conference crown, followed by the SeaHorses Mikawa (25-14), and the Sunrockers Shibuya and Kawasaki Brave Thunders (with identical 21-18 records).

In the West, the Ryukyu Golden Kings (27-12) and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins (26-13, winners of nine straight) are the top squads. The Shimane Susanoo Magic (22-17) and the Hiroshima Dragonflies (21-18) are in third and fourth place, respectively.

Utsunomiya Brex
Brex guard Hironori Watanabe has helped his team win nine straight games. (B.LEAGUE)

Utsunomiya Brex Jump Out to Commanding Lead in Latest Game

On Sunday, the Brex excelled on offense in the first quarter, making 13 of 16 shots from the floor, including 7-for-9 from 3-point range. Early on, the Velca had no answer defensively to stop the hosts. 


As a result, Utsunomiya led 37-15 entering the second quarter. Starting guards DJ Newbill (10 points) and Makoto Hiejima (seven) sparked the Brex in the opening stanza.

Nagasaki trailed 56-27 at halftime.

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

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