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BASKETBALL | Koshigaya Alphas Build Foundation for Success with Strong Rebounding and Defense

In the B.League second division, which has 14 teams, the Koshigaya Alphas have the stingiest defense, holding opponents to 70 points per game.

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Koshigaya Alphas guard Makoto Kamata defends Tomonobu Hasegawa of the Fukushima Firebonds on November 5 at Koshigaya Municipal General Gymnasium. B.LEAGUE)

This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.

The Koshigaya Alphas (14-3) have the best overall record among the combined 38 teams in the B.League's first and second divisions through games of Sunday, November 27.

In the pandemic-shortened 2021-22 campaign, the Alphas went 25-23, but management's ambitious goals for this season revolved around a push to earn promotion from B2 to the top flight.

The Saitama Prefecture-based team's success this season has been fueled by a pair of seven-game winning streaks.

Koshigaya lost its season-opening match (72-62 to the Nishinomiya Storks on October 1), then rattled off seven consecutive victories.

After an 85-80 defeat to Altiri Chiba on October 26, seven more wins followed for Alphas bench boss JR Sakuragi's team before the streak ended with an 82-71 setback to the host Aomori Wat's on Sunday.

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Indeed, in any sport, 14 victories in a 17-game stretch raises a team's profile and expectations for success as a season marches on.

In the B.League, teams play 60 regular-season games. Therefore, the Alphas' overwhelming success so far represents almost 30% of their full schedule.

So what has defined the B2-leading Alphas' season to date?

Exceptional rebounding (38.6 per game, No. 1 in the 14-team second division) and a dominant defense.

How dominant?

Koshigaya has held opponents to under 80 points in all but three games this season. 

Read the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward’s dedicated sports website, SportsLook.

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