Connect with us


How Quartet of B.League Teams Secured Spots in Playoff Semifinals

Only the Chiba Jets, Alvark Tokyo, Ryukyu Golden Kings and Yokohama B-Corsairs remain in the B.League title chase as the penultimate playoff weekend looms.



Yokohama B-Corsairs captain Kenta Morii drives to the basket against the Kawasaki Brave Thunders in the B.League Championship quarterfinals on May 14 at Todoroki Arena. (B.LEAGUE)

Read the full story on SportsLook - How Quartet of B.League Teams Secured Spots in the Playoff Semifinals

Three teams with 40-plus victories ー Chiba Jets, Alvark Tokyo and Ryukyu Golden Kings ー reached the Final Four of the B.League playoffs. At the same time, the Yokohama B-Corsairs advanced to the semifinals with a strong performance on the road against the favored Kawasaki Brave Thunders, completing a two-game sweep on Sunday, May 14.

From what I've observed over the past several weeks, the B-Corsairs (33-27) are a better team than their regular-season record indicates. Coach Taketo Aoki and his staff have concocted tactics that have showcased the team's strengths and helped the players find ways to make improvements, individually and collectively.

B-Corsairs head coach Taketo Aoki (B.LEAGUE)

On offense, smart decisions with the basketball keyed Yokohama's 91-86 and 104-84 wins at Todoroki Arena. The B-Corsairs had 22 assists and 11 turnovers in Game 1 on May 13. In Game 2, they increased their assist total (28) and had (10 turnovers) ― again playing smart fundamental basketball.

Yokohama found its offensive rhythm against Central Division champion Kawasaki (40-20 in the regular season) with a lot of continuous, effective ball movement, getting everyone involved with the passing attack. It worked well and helped the underdogs secure a place in the B.League Championship semifinals.

Yokohama's Devin Oliver competes against Kawasaki in Game 2. (B.LEAGUE)

Passing Flourished for B-Corsairs in Quarterfinals

Five B-Corsairs players had three or more assists in Game 1, and in the rematch six of Aoki's men had two or more assists. Captain Kenta Morii spearheaded the passing attack with eight assists and also scored a season-high 18 points in the series-clinching win.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game, and it was a tough game," Morii told reporters after the game. "But I think all the players were really able to use their experience from 60 games in the regular season to generate energy from the start. And all the players played with pride."

The 27-year-old point guard added, "As we move on to the next stage, I would like to relish the joy of being able to play basketball with this team for another week and fight towards the next stage."

A Look Ahead to the B.League Semifinals

The B-Corsairs will face the Golden Kings at Okinawa Arena in the best-of-three semifinal round on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, May 20 (3:05 PM), 21 (4:05) and, if necessary, 23 (7:05).

In the other semifinal showdown, the 2021-22 B.League champion Jets play host to the Alvark on May 20 (5:05 PM), 21 (7:05) and, if required, 22 (7:05). Tokyo became the first team in league history to win multiple championships by claiming back-to-back titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19 under former coach Luka Pavicevic.

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 Twitter @ed_odeven

Subscribe to Ed Odeven's weekly sports newsletter.

Our Partners