B.League: Kai Sotto pours 20 points to carry Hiroshima; Carl Tamayo finally sees action
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto unleashed 20 points to lead the Hiroshima Dragonflies past Matthew Wright and Kyoto Hannaryz, 102-95, in the 2022-23 B.League season on Wednesday at Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall.
The 7-foot-3 center shot 9-of-14 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds and one steal in 23 minutes of action as a starter to snap Hiroshima’s two-game skid.
“I’m happy to be in this team..I’m very happy that I got my first home win tonight,” said Sotto addressing the fans.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. also shone for the Dragonflies with 17 points and eight rebounds. Ryo Terashima chipped in with 16 points, eight assists, and five rebounds, while Nick Mayo also scored 16 and dished out five assists to improve their team’s record to 29-11.
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Sotto spoiled his compatriot, Matthew Wright’s hot shooting night with seven three-pointers.
Wright finished with 26 points, eight assists, two rebounds, and two steals in 36 minutes of action, while Cheick Diallo had 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Kyoto’s two-game winning streak was snapped as it slid to a 16-24 record with Hiroshima asserting its mastery from their first meeting last November when it won, 81-74.
Meanwhile, Carl Tamayo finally made his B.League debut with five points, one rebound, and a steal as the Ryukyu Golden Kings pounced on the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins sans Ray Parks Jr., 79-74, at Okinawa Arena.
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Tamayo, who was benched last week, shot 2-of-4 from the field in over nine minutes of play.
Josh Duncan and Keito Imamura led the Golden Kings with 17 points each, while Jack Cooley posted 15 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists as they rose to a 31-9 record.
Nagoya played only with eight players, missing Parks, as it dropped to a 27-13 card.
Coty Clarke led the Diamond Dolphins with 23 points and seven rebounds, as Scott Eatherton had 16 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Thirdy Ravena delivered an all-around game of 10 points, seven assists, and six rebounds but the San-En NeoPhoenix suffered an 81-78 loss to the Sun Rockers Shibuya at Toyohashi City Gymnasium.
Shibuya’s import Ryan Kelly sank four consecutive crucial free throws for an 81-76 lead with 56 seconds left. Isaiah Hicks tried to rescue San-En with a quick lay-up to cut the deficit down to three with 33 ticks to go but he and Kazuki Hosokawa missed the potential game-tying treys in their final possession.
Ravena and the NeoPhoenix slid to a 17-23 record.
Dwight Ramos’ eight-point and four-rebound effort ended up with Levanga Hokkaido’s 94-80 loss to the Chiba Jets at Funabashi Arena.
Hokkaido’s two-game winning streak was ended as it fell to a 10-30 card.
Kiefer Ravena missed all of his eight shots but had five rebounds and three assists as the Shiga Lakes’ (5-35) woes continued with a 101-71 defeat to Osaka Evessa at Shiga Daihatsu Arena.