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In 2016 three pro leagues NBL, BJ League and NDBL merged creating three new leagues B League, B League D2 and B League D3.
This is the wrap-up of the last season of NBL.

NBL Standings
 1. Toyota Alvark 47-8 
 2. Tochigi Brex 42-12 
 3. Toshiba BT 38-17 
 4. Aishin SH 35-18 
 5. Hitachi SR 34-20 
 6. Hokkaido L. 28-27 
 7. Mitsubishi DD 28-28 
 8. Chiba Jets 22-33 
 9. Hiroshima D. 16-38 
 10. Kumamoto V. 13-36 
 11. Nishinomiya S. 13-41 
 12. Tsukuba R. 8-46 
Points Per Game
 Davante GARDNER
  Avg: 27.7
 1. Gardner, Nishinom.27.7 
 2. Fazekas, Toshiba25.3 
 3. Tillman, Hokkaido23.6 
 4. Rossiter, Tochigi23.5 
 5. Heytvelt, Hitac.18.2 
 6. Pattillo, Tsukuba18.0 
 7. Shorter, Hiroshim.17.9 
 8. Chapman, Chiba J.16.9 
 9. Burrell, Mitsubis.16.9 
 10. Kanamaru, Aishin16.7 
Rebounds Per Game
  Toshiba BT
  Avg: 13.3
 1. Fazekas, Toshiba13.3 
 2. Rossiter, Tochigi12.3 
 3. N'Diaye, Tsukuba11.2 
 4. Gardner, Nishinom.10.7 
 5. Butts, Aishin SH10.5 
 6. Brenton, Tochigi10.1 
 7. Tillman, Hokkaido9.8 
 8. Burrell, Mitsubis.9.2 
 9. Gibbs, Toyota A.9.2 
 10. Rickert, Chiba Je.9.0 
Assists Per Game
  Tochigi .
  Avg: 5.8
 1. Brenton, Tochigi5.8 
 2. Sakuragi, Aishin SH3.4 
 3. Tajima, Hokkaido.3.4 
 4. Furuno, Kumamoto.3.4 
 5. Sakurai, Hokkaido.3.4 
 6. Tabuse, Tochigi3.3 
 7. Ikaruga, Hiroshim.3.3 
 8. Hiejima, Aishin SH3.0 
 9. Tsuji, Toshiba BT3.0 
 10. Rossiter, Tochigi3.0 
Steals Per Game
  Tochigi .
  Avg: 2
 1. Brenton, Tochigi2.0 
 2. Gibbs, Toyota A.2.0 
 3. Parker, Toyota A.1.8 
 4. Rossiter, Tochigi1.7 
 5. Hatakeyama, Nishin.1.7 
 6. Shorter, Hiroshim.1.6 
 7. Ikaruga, Hiroshim.1.6 
 8. Sakurai, Hokkaido.1.6 
 9. Hirose, Hitachi SR1.5 
 10. Pattillo, Tsukuba1.5 
Blocks Per Game
  Tochigi Brex
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Naymick, Tochigi B.2.1 
 2. Edwards, Aishin SH1.7 
 3. N'Diaye, Tsukuba1.3 
 4. Takeuchi, Hitac.1.2 
 5. Chapman, Chiba J.1.2 
 6. Parker, Toyota A.1.1 
 7. Takeuchi, Hiroshim.1.1 
 8. Nephawe, Kumamoto.1.1 
 9. Butts, Aishin SH1.1 
 10. Rossiter, Tochigi1.0 
Season 2015-2016
All Games
List of Players
List of Imports

Toshiba Brave Thunders Kanagawa wins Japanese NBL 2015-2016 title (Photo:

Toshiba Brave Thunders Kanagawa 2015-16
Takuya Kita Takuya Kita Kita
Nick Fazekas
Mamadou Diouf
Naoto Tsuji
Takumi Hasegawa
Ryusei Shinoyama
# Name CM (INCH) Pos Bo NAT
22  Fazekas Nick 211 (6'11'') F 85 USA
25  Diouf Mamadou 197 (6'6'') G/F 77 Senegal
14  Tsuji Naoto 185 (6'1'') G/F 89 Japan
33  Hasegawa Takumi 190 (6'3'') F 89 Japan
7  Shinoyama Ryusei 178 (5'10'') PG 88 Japan
32  Butch Brian 211 (6'11'') C 84 USA
24  Onishi Takanori 195 (6'5'') F 83 Japan
43  Nagayoshi Yuya 199 (6'7'') C 91 Japan
11  Nomoto Kengo 196 (6'5'') F 92 Japan
5  Yamashita Yasuhiro 187 (6'2'') G 86 Japan
9  Kurihara Takahiro 192 (6'4'') G/F 87 Japan
18  Kamata Yuya 197 (6'6'') G/F 90 Japan
0  Fujii Yuma 178 (5'10'') PG 91 Japan
Head Coach: Takuya Kita All-Japanese NBL Awards 2016 - Jun 16, 2016 All-Japanese NBL 1st Team 2016
Yuta Tabuse
Makoto Hiejima
Nick Fazekas
Jeffrey Gibbs
Ryan Rossiter

Finals MVP: Nick Fazekas (211-F-85) of Toshiba BT
Player of the Year: Ryan Rossiter (204-F/C-89) of Tochigi Brex
Guard of the Year: Makoto Hiejima (190-G/F-90) of Aishin SH
Forward of the Year: Nick Fazekas (211-F-85) of Toshiba BT
Center of the Year: Ryan Rossiter (204-F/C-89) of Tochigi Brex
Domestic Player of the Year: Makoto Hiejima (190-G/F-90) of Aishin SH
Import Player of the Year: Ryan Rossiter (204-F/C-89) of Tochigi Brex
Defensive Player of the Year: Jeffrey Gibbs (188-F-80) of Toyota Alvark
Coach of the Year: Takuya Kita of Toshiba BT

1st Team
G: Yuta Tabuse (173-G-80) of Tochigi Brex
G/F: Makoto Hiejima (190-G/F-90) of Aishin SH
F: Nick Fazekas (211-F-85) of Toshiba BT
F: Jeffrey Gibbs (188-F-80) of Toyota Alvark
F/C: Ryan Rossiter (204-F/C-89) of Tochigi Brex

2nd Team
G: Tommy Brenton (196-G-89) of Tochigi Brex
G: Shannon Shorter (193-G-89) of Hiroshima D.
G/F: Naoto Tsuji (185-G/F-89) of Toshiba BT
F: Daiki Tanaka (191-F-91) of Toyota Alvark
F/C: Joji Takeuchi (207-F/C-85) of Hitachi SR

Honorable Mention
Michael Parker (202-F-81) of Chiba Jets
Takatoshi Furukawa (190-G/F-87) of Tochigi Brex
J.R. Sakuragi (206-C-76) of Aishin SH
Kosuke Kanamaru (193-F/G-89) of Aishin SH
Joshua Heytvelt (210-F/C-86) of Hitachi SR
Jerome Tillman (201-F-87) of Hokkaido L.
Justin Burrell (207-F-88) of Mitsubishi DD
Kei Igarashi (180-G-80) of Mitsubishi DD
Clint Chapman (208-F/C-89) of Chiba Jets
Kosuke Takeuchi (206-C/F-85) of Hiroshima D.
Davante Gardner (203-PF-91) of Nishinomiya S.
Aziz N'Diaye (213-C-88) of Tsukuba R.

All-Domestic Players Team
G: Yuta Tabuse (173-G-80) of Tochigi Brex
G/F: Makoto Hiejima (190-G/F-90) of Aishin SH
G/F: Naoto Tsuji (185-G/F-89) of Toshiba BT
F: Daiki Tanaka (191-F-91) of Toyota Alvark
F/C: Joji Takeuchi (207-F/C-85) of Hitachi SR

All-Imports Team
G: Tommy Brenton (196-G-89) of Tochigi Brex
G: Shannon Shorter (193-G-89) of Hiroshima D.
F: Nick Fazekas (211-F-85) of Toshiba BT
F: Jeffrey Gibbs (188-F-80) of Toyota Alvark
F/C: Ryan Rossiter (204-F/C-89) of Tochigi Brex

Brave Thunders ride momentum to wrap up NBL title - Jun 5, 2016

The Toshiba Brave Thunders are the last men standing in the NBL. The Kawasaki-based club showed lots of resilience and energy in winning the final three games of the best-of-five NBL Finals, clinching the title with a 76-70 victory in Game 5 over the Aisin SeaHorses on Sunday before a jam-pack crowd of 3,057 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2. The Brave Thunders captured their fourth league title, going back to the days of the JBL - the NBL's forerunner - and their second in the last three years. Both the Brave Thunders and SeaHorses will play in the first division of the newly founded B. League, which tips off this fall. With 27 seconds left in the game - and with just one second remaining on the shot clock - Naoto Tsuji (185-G/F-89) knocked down a 3-point shot to seal the deal for the Brave Thunders. 'We took consecutive losses and then won consecutive games,' Toshiba head coach Takuya Kita said after the game. 'We certainly had the momentum going in today. I was a little worried that our momentum could lead to impatience in our guys today, but we started just fine and my worries were unnecessary.' Tsuji was named the series' Most Valuable Player. As in the previous two games, Toshiba took control with its stingy defense and built a lead that grew as big as 15 points. The SeaHorses rallied back and got within three points with a Kosuke Kanamaru (193-F/G-89) 3-pointer with just over a minute left in the final quarter. But Tsuji's miraculous rainbow shot decided the game, and the championship. American center Nick Fazekas (211-F-85, college: Nevada) led the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Tsuji followed with 20 points and three steals for the Brave Thunders. Big man Brian Butch (211-C-84, college: Wisconsin)'s eight-point effort including a pair of 3s in the second half also gave the team a boost. Toshiba fell to the crafty SeaHorses in the series' first two games, and many thought that it would quickly end in a sweep. But with a 30-point performance by Tsuji, the Brave Thunders grabbed a victory in Game 3, and from that point on they seized the momentum for the remainder of the series. Said Nick Fazekas: 'We took one game at a time, and we won the last three. We just took a piece at a time rather than looking at the top of the mountain, and we were able to accomplish it.' Kita and captain Ryusei Shinoyama said that a long team meeting before Game 3 triggered a big change in the team's attitude. 'To be honest, our mood wasn't very good after we took the losses for two games in a row,' Shinoyama said. 'But Nick and Madou (Senegalese-Japanese Mamadou Diouf) got us together and encouraged us by saying we would need to just do what we can do. And Tsuji led us with his play (in Game 3), and from then on, we got our energy going. I'm glad that it led to this championship for us. Nick and Madou showed a lot of leadership for us.' Nick Fazekas revealed how the team meeting went. 'After Game 2, it was like, looking up, how the heck are we going to win three games in a row?' said the 2013-14 season league MVP. 'But we kind of gave away in Game 1. That one slipped away from us. (And) we kept telling ourselves, we are better than this team. We know a bit about this team. We know we can score on this team.' Nick Fazekas added that, having won Games 3 and 4, the Brave Thunders were a totally different bunch of players from what they were in the first two games. 'We had all the confidence in the world going in today,' he said. What might have hurt Aisin was a right shoulder injury to J.R. Sakuragi (206-C-76, college: UCLA), which he said he suffered in Game 1. Of course, he didn't reveal the injury until the series was over, and he didn't use it as an excuse. The former UCLA inside player instead gave credit to the Brave Thunders. 'I think Toshiba's done some homework,' said Sakuragi, a 39-year-old American-Japanese. 'They put us in a pick and roll every time. It was hard for us to figure that out and they did it over, over, over and over again. So I give them credit. They've done their homework after the two losses in a row, they said they have to make a change so they made the change. It worked for them.' Kita, who's been at the helm for Toshiba since the 2011-12 season, praised his players for their growth both mentally and athletically. In the 2012-13 JBL Finals against Aisin, the Brave Thunders took a 2-1 lead in the five-game series yet lost the final two games to finish as runners-up. Kita said the experience his players had earned over the years was what made the difference this time. 'Our players have gotten more experience and have become more resilient to fight against adversity,' he said. 'In the JBL Finals, we played with just energy, and we got rattled in the end, making turnovers, and we lost.' Tsuji emphasized that it was a championship accomplished as a team, not a group of individuals. 'Before the series, I said that Aisin's players are great players individually, but we are nothing short of them as a team,' he said. 'I think we showed that in this series.' For the SeaHorses, Makoto Hiejima (190-G-90) and Kanamaru had 19 and 15 points, respectively.
Courtesy of:

Gardner leads West past East in NBL All-Star Game - Jan 17, 2016

Let's be honest - the game was dull for much of the time as the players abandoned defense and just tried to shoot 3-pointers or dunk the ball. But in the end they found their competitive spirit, and gave the audience some extra time to enjoy. Nishinomiya Storks big man Davante Gardner (203-PF-91, college: Marquette) scored 50 points and cleaned the boards 12 times and Kosuke Takeuchi followed with 22 points in Team West's 152-145 double-overtime win over Team East in the NBL All-Star Game at Todoroki Arena on Sunday night. With 15.1 seconds left in regulation, Gardner tied the game, making one of two free throws, to send the game into overtime. In the first overtime period, the East established a 139-136 lead with less than 10 seconds left, but reigning NBL MVP Joshua Heytvelt (210-F/C-86, college: Gonzaga), of the Hitachi Sunrockers, hit a tough shot from the 3-point line with 0.7 second remaining, and the game went into second overtime. Gardner came through, scoring six points in the second overtime period to put an end to a long contest watched by 3,411 fans. 'I think I played a lot of minutes more than I get to play during the regular season, so I'm very, very tired right now,' said Marquette University product Gardner, who was named the game's MVP. For the East, Heytvelt racked up 40 points and 13 rebounds while Joji Takeuchi (207-F/C-85) and Takatoshi Furukawa (190-G/F-87) had 20 points apiece. Diminutive former NBDL guard Yuki Togashi (170-PG-93) provided 13 assists. 'I never imagined that we would play two overtimes,' said Team West head coach Takuya Kita (Toshiba Brave Thunders). 'The players were playing a little hesitantly early in the game, but they wound up playing a heated, great game later.' It was the final NBL All-Star Game as the league will merge with the bj-league, forming the B. League next fall. 'I told our players before the game that we should avoid injuries and enjoy it,' East head coach Takuma Ito (Toyota Alvark) said. 'But we played two overtimes, and despite the loss it felt great that we played an exciting game.' Before the All-Star Game, there was a 3-point and a slam dunk contest. In the 3-point contest, Aisin SeaHorses' Kosuke Kanamaru (193-F/G-89) scored 19 points to capture the title for the second year in a row. In the dunk contest, Hitachi's Ira Brown had a full 50 points to win.
Courtesy of:

by Greg
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