EUROBASKET HAS THE PLEASURE OF SITTING DOWN WITH FIBA ASIAN VETERAN CHRIS GARNETT, RECENT ADDITION TO TOCHIGI BREX IN THE JAPANESE JBL. THE EXPERIENCED BIG MAN WAS SIGNED TO HELP SOLIDIFY THE POST AND PROVIDE LEADERSHIP TO THE CLUB BY VIRTUE OF HIS SUCCESS IN THE REGION. WE SAT DOWN BRIEFLY WITH LAST YEAR'S ALL ASEAN LEAGUE BIG MAN.
EU: Chris, it is such a pleasure seeing you now in Japan's Top League. How have you found it here so far? CG: Thank you. First, I must say that Japan is an incredibly beautiful country, and then I must say that Japans Top League has a lot of talent. Basketball is certainly up and rising here and Japan should be recognized around the world for having very competitive basketball in this country. Talented players like Yuta Tabuse, the first and only Japanese player to play in the NBA, J.R. Sakuragai, Chris Moss, Ivan McFarlin, and many others right here in Japan who can easily compete and prevail in top-notch American, European, and Asian leagues.
EU: We see that the Club opted to go with a savvy vet to start the second half of the season. How smoothly or not has the addition to the team been? CG: Transitioning to a new Club can prove to be a bit rough at times due to the number of plays that I had to learn in a short timeframe, as well as learning team members style of play, basketball habits, and personalities. Its about meshing and bonding with your team members to create a winning chemistry on and off the court. I hope to be an asset to my Club by bringing the experience, work ethics, and skills needed as the backbone of any winning team.
EU: We can see from the stats that you are seemingly not getting much the on the floor, although each time you play 10 minutes you are only 1 rebound or 1 point away from a double double. Have you any thoughts on this? CG: Coach Palmer, who is an outstanding coach, has certain plays that he likes to run and those plays do not necessarily call for a lot of interaction on my part right now. The JBL limits foreign players to only one in the game at any given time, and Ivan (the other foreign player) does a great job when I am not in the game. So, for every minute that I am in the game, I try to produce like we are up 1 with 30 seconds left in the game. Head Coach knows best, and I am hopeful that my playing time will increase.
EU: From a mathematical standpoint, you are averaging 1 point and 1 rebound for every minute and a half played. That should equate into All Star numbers given there is adequate time on the floor. Is the club still familiarizing themselves to you? CG: I agree. That should equal to some big numbers, and I am optimistic that I will be given adequate time on the floor. In the meanwhile, the familiarity between me and the Club has been solidified.
EU: I have heard and read quite a bit of things coming from the ASEAN League questioning your return there. Have any of the media, press or fans from last season reached out to you? Seeing that you are now in the Top League in the Region, what are your thoughts on returning to familiar haunts? CG: While the media or press or fans have not reached out to me, I thoroughly enjoyed playing in the ASEAN League. If the opportunity presented itself with the right circumstances, there is a possibility that I might consider it. The ASEAN fans and coaches were some of the greatest. I can only hope that playing in the Top League in the Region will have its rewards.
EU: Seven rounds and fourteen games remaining in this second half of the season, do you feel that the Club can make the needed adjustments to reach the playoffs? Currently Tochigi is sitting only 2 games behind Panasonic for the 4th place in the League. Having seen the Clubs here, what are your thoughts on reaching 4th? CG: There is a tremendous amount of talent in this League, and everybody is playing tough, hard ball to make the playoffs. For every best foot put forward by the other Club, Tochigi has got to bring one better. I am ready, willing, and able to make any adjustments needed to help take Tochigi to the playoffs and to the championship. As a Team and Club with a smart Head Coach, I know we can do it.
EU: There has also been talk of a spring/summer signing in Latin America for you. How much interest do you have in another 10-11 month stint of professional play? Last year, we saw you depart the ASEAN League and finish the regular season in Turkey only then to depart for Qatar for Cup competition. CG: Im laughing hysterically because the rumor mill is going 150 mph. Under the right circumstances, another 10-11 months of play would be very much welcomed. I can easily adapt to most situations. Right now, I have several irons in the fire as far as the spring and summer and I cant pinpoint exactly where I will be or what I will be doing. After the JBL season ends, I will focus more on which direction I will be headed.
EU: Would you like to leave anything with us as you head into the stretch run? CG: I cant leave without giving a shout-out to my fan base and to my friends in distant lands where I have traveled. I want to say thank you to all of my wonderful fans and friends who have given of their time and energy to come together and support me and my teammates now and over the years. You put the F in Fans when it comes to loyalty, support, and commitment and I love you all. And Sports Fans, I read in the Health Prevention magazine that there are actual health benefits of being a sports fan. Being a sports fan inspires you to get active; watching Live Sports is a workout in itself; you will live longer; its good for your relationships; and it will make you smarter. So, until we see each other again, Good Health To You!
EUROBASKET WOULD LIKE TO WISH CHRIS THE BEST AS HE MAKES THE PUSH FOR STRONG PLAYOFF POSITION IN THE JAPANESE JBL. WE KNOW THAT ONLY GREAT THINGS WILL COME WHERE HE IS CONCERNED. WE ARE ANXIOUS TO SEE THE TOCHIGI CLUB AND THE 2ND HALF OF THE JBL. BEST WISHES CHRIS!
NBL Round 1 of Finals. Aishin Sea Horses take the lead - May 29, 2016
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Toshiba BT - Aishin SH 65-70 Aishin Sea Horses victoriously opened NBL Finals. They defeated Toshiba Brave Thunders for 1-0 lead. The guests trailed by 13 points after first quarter, but they rallied back and won the game by 5 points. Aishin Sea Horses dominated down low during the game scoring 54 of its points in the paint compared to Toshiba Thunders' 24. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Aishin Sea Horses made 9 blocks. American power forward Gavin Edward... [read more]
Aishin Sea Horses victoriously opened NBL Finals. They defeated Toshiba Brave Thunders for 1-0 lead. The guests trailed by 13 points after first quarter, but they rallied back and won the game by 5 points. Aishin Sea Horses dominated down low during the game scoring 54 of its points in the paint compared to Toshiba Thunders' 24. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Aishin Sea Horses made 9 blocks. American power forward Gavin Edwards (206-88, college: Connecticut) fired a double-double by scoring 15 points and 13 rebounds for the winners. His fellow American import center Isaac Butts (208-89, college: Appalachian St.) chipped in 17 points and 9 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field). Four Aishin Sea Horses players scored in double figures. American forward Nick Fazekas (211-85, college: Nevada) produced 21 points and 8 rebounds and the former international swingman Naoto Tsuji (185-89) added 15 points respectively for lost side. Toshiba Thunders' coach tried various players' combinations and tested in total eleven players in this game, but that didn't help. Top scorers: Toshiba BT: N.Fazekas 21+8reb+2ast, N.Tsuji 15+3reb+2ast, M.Diouf 9+9reb, T.Hasegawa 9+1reb+2ast, R.Shinoyama 6+5reb+2ast, Y.Yamashita 3+1reb Aishin SH: I.Butts 17+9reb, M.Hiejima 15+3reb+4ast, G.Edwards 15+13reb, K.Kanamaru 10+1ast, J.Sakuragi 6+7reb+4ast, S.Kashiwagi 4+2reb+1ast
Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese BJ League Awards 2016 - May 25, 2016
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Finals MVP: Evan Ravenel (203-C/F-89) of Okinawa GK; Player of the Year: Wendell White (198-G-84) of Sendai 89ers; Guard of the Year: Joho Masashi (183-SF-82) of Toyama Grouses; Forward of the Year: Scootie Randall (198-F-90) of Shimane SM; Center of the Year: Evan Ravenel (203-C/F-89) of Okinawa GK; Domestic Player of the Year: Joho Masashi (183-SF-82) of Toyama Grouses; Import Player of the Year: Wendell White (198-G-84) of Sendai 89ers; Defensive Player of the [read more]
Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese BJ League 1st Team 2016
Kings, Alvark to clash in B. League opener - May 24, 2016
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The B. League revealed on Tuesday that the Alvark Tokyo and Ryukyu Golden Kings will tip off the inaugural season on Sept. 22 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium. It is the sole game that will be played on the day, and the other matchups, which will be announced later, will be played on the weekend. For the historical opening, the league picked two powerhouse clubs from the NBL and bj-league [read more]
The B. League revealed on Tuesday that the Alvark Tokyo and Ryukyu Golden Kings will tip off the inaugural season on Sept. 22 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium. It is the sole game that will be played on the day, and the other matchups, which will be announced later, will be played on the weekend. For the historical opening, the league picked two powerhouse clubs from the NBL and bj-league. The Alvark, who were known as the Toyota Alvark in the NBL, are a four-time champion in Japan's top men's circuit (JBL and NBL), while the Golden Kings have captured the bj-league title four times, including one they just won on May 15. The opening game will begin following an opening ceremony, which starts at 6:30 p.m. It will be broadcast live on Fuji Television and NHK-BS while it will also be streamed on Sportsnavi Live. The two teams will return to Yoyogi the next day to complete the final game of the two-game series. B. League chairman Masaaki Okawa said at a Tokyo news conference that the fans will be entertained with 'unprecedented stage effects' and 'surprises' at the game. On starting the inaugural season with just one game, Okawa said that the B. League borrowed the idea from the J. League, which used the same format when it kicked off on May 15, 1993. 'It left a strong impression on me that the J. League went on to have enormous popularity after the game,' said Okawa, a former J. League executive. 'We'll have two teams that represent the NBL and bj-league and present a great show, and we'd like to drastically change the values (for basketball) with the game. It'll be aired on prime time, so hopefully we'd like to make our league as popular as we can with this opportunity.' The two clubs' players will obviously be the main attraction. Ryukyu guard Ryuichi Kishimoto said that he was 'excited to be part of the commemorative game' while he felt 'a sense of responsibility' to help make it an attractive game. 'We've played against (the Alvark) in preseason games, but we haven't won one yet,' said Kishimoto, who earned the playoff MVP accolade in the 2013-14 season. 'So hopefully, we'll post a win this time.' Said Alvark guard/forward Daiki Tanaka: 'I expect a lot of fans will come to the game. I'd like to have a game that they can see our emotion, so they'll return for another game.' Courtesy of: japantimes.co.jp
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