This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward’s dedicated sports website.
The B.League launches its seventh season this week.
The 60-game season begins in earnest on Saturday, October 1 with all 24 teams in action.
In between the Dolphins-SeaHorses clash and a busy Saturday slate of games throughout the nation, the NBA’s reigning champion Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards will hold the opener of their two-game exhibition series at Saitama Super Arena on Friday at 7 PM.
The NBA clubs will play again on Sunday, October 2 at 2 PM at the same venue.
Originally, the B.League had 18 first-division teams during its inaugural season, 2016-17. That number remained until the 2020-21 season, when it was increased to 22. All along there have been a combined 36 teams in B1 and B2, also known as the second division.
Entering the 2022-23 season, the Utsunomiya Brex are the reigning champions, having swept the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the best-of-three B.League Finals in the spring.
A new coach, Norio Sassa, is now in charge of the Brex. Title-winning bench boss Ryuzo Anzai left Utsunomiya and re-emerged in the offseason as an adviser for the B2 Koshigaya Alphas coaching staff, which is led by former NBA and longtime SeaHorses standout J.R. Sakuragi.
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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.