Ibaraki could not close out Chiba in what would have been a huge upset in the 2021-22 B.League season, absorbing a heartbreaking 77-83 loss, Saturday at Funabashi Arena.
Down 76-72 with 3:10 remaining, Chehales Tapscott knocked down a huge and-one play to cut the lead down to just one.
Kohei Fukuzawa then gave the Robots the lead with a floater.
However, the defending champs were just too poised down the stretch.
Christopher Smith converted on a booming triple seconds later.
Chiba then clamped down on defense and crashed the boards, scoring crucial turnovers and offensive rebounds late that led to free throws for Gavin Edwards and Josh Duncan late.
The Jets rose to 11-4 in the standings while dropping the Robots to 2-13.
Edwards had an efficient game for Chiba, tallying 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting with five rebounds. Smith also got 22 points.
Atsunori Hirao, who was averaging just 8.7 points prior to this game, dropped 20 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Jacobsen also tallied a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Fukuzawa and Tapscott got 11 points each as well.
Javi Gomez de Liano only played three minutes in the game, attempting just one shot.
The two teams face off again tomorrow.