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Kyoto Hannaryz Playing with More Consistency After Long Losing Streak

After winning only 14 games in 2021-22, the rebuilding Kyoto Hannaryz have made a seven-win improvement this season. Four games still remain on their schedule.



Kyoto Hannaryz
Kyoto Hannaryz guard Seiya Konishi runs the offense as Ryo Abe of the Shimane Susanoo Magic defends on April 23 in Kyoto. (B.LEAGUE)

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The Kyoto Hannaryz lost 10 of 11 games during a rough stretch in November and December 2022, and the B.League team dropped eight in a row from March 15 to April 2 (2023).

Since then, Kyoto is 5-4, including wins in three of its last four games.

The Hannaryz, led by first-year head coach Roy Rana, dropped their weekend home opener to the Western Conference title-chasing Shimane Susanoo Magic, 79-71, on Saturday, April 22.

In the next day's rematch, Kyoto collected an 87-82 victory.

Kyoto outscored Shimane 24-14 in the fourth quarter on Sunday.

For the Hannaryz, Matthew Wright had nine of his 19 points in the fourth. Teammate Jarrod Uthoff, a 206-cm former University of Iowa standout and ex-NBA forward, contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds, including six defensive boards in the final period. Former NBA journeyman Ekpe Udoh added 13 points, his fourth straight game scoring in double digits, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal. 

Hannaryz players encourage their teammates on April 23. (B.LEAGUE)

Kyoto's Cheick Diallo, another ex-NBA forward, finished with 10 points and Yoshiaki Kubota and Tomomasa Ozawa both had eight in the win. 

Kubota, a Hannaryz player since 2020, also dished out eight assists. Over the weekend he had 10 assists without a turnover.

MVP candidate Perrin Buford led the Susanoo Magic (45-11) with 39 points.

Hannaryz head coach Roy Rana worked as an assistant coach for the NBA's Sacramento Kings from 2019-22. (B.LEAGUE)

Headed in the Right Direction

For the Hannarz, four games remain in Rana's first season at the helm.

The Hannaryz are 21-35 under Rana, far out of the playoff picture but showing signs of improvement that could help lay the groundwork for greater success in the 2023-24 campaign. A season ago, Kyoto finished 14-43.

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