Matthew Aquino made the trip from Tokyo to Shinshu just in time to see the Brave Warriors romp Hiroshima, 86-72, in the 2021-22 B.League season, Saturday at White Ring.
Aquino, who spent the last five days at the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo for a preliminary camp for the Asian Games, only played the last 18 seconds of the game.
Still, the Brave Warriors pounded the Dragonflies to rack up their fifth straight win and rise to an even 17-17 in the standings.
Down 38-42 at the half, Shinshu turned things around in the third canto.
The stingy Brave Warriors defense limited their visitors to just 13 points on 3-of-15 shooting during that span. On the offensive end, Josh Hawkinson flat-out dominated, scoring 10 of his 29 points during that frame to put his side up 65-55 entering the final frame.
Shinshu would lead by as much as 16 points, 86-70, in the closing seconds of the game.
Hawkinson also grabbed 11 rebounds in the contest.
Wayne Marshall also got 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 8-of-13 from the foul stripe. Ko Kumagai and Reo Maeda added 12 and 10 points, respectively, while knocking down two treys apiece.
Hiroshima fell to 19-16 with the loss – just a full game ahead of Shinshu.
Charles Jackson led the Dragonflies with 17 points on a perfect 5-of-5 clip with six rebounds. Ryo Terashima added 15 points built on three treys, while Thomas Kennedy tallied 10 points and seven rebounds.
The two squads face off again tomorrow.