Kobe Paras had himself a game but Niigata was on the wrong end of a decision, suffering a 76-79 loss at the hands of Ibaraki in the 2021-22 B.League season, Sunday at Adastria Mito Arena.
Leading by as many as 10 points in the contest thanks to Paras, the Albirex BB’s defense suddenly collapsed in the final frame.
Clinging to a 74-72 lead with 1:55 left, Niigata figured in foul trouble. Kohei Fukuzawa and Eric Jacobsen then knocked down three consecutive free throws to give the Robots the lead with 1:18 left.
Misses by Rosco Allen, Kimitake Sato, and Paras late led to freebies for Atsunobu Hirao and Asahi Tajima sealed Ibaraki’s fourth straight win.
The Robots went up to 11-29 while dropping the Albirex BB to a 5-35 record.
Jacobsen had a huge double-double for Ibaraki with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Chehales Tapscott also tallied a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Keita Tsurumaki got 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the foul stripe. Hirao and Fukuzawa got 13 and 12 markers, respectively.
Javi Gomez de Liaño only played one minute and 32 seconds in the contest.
Paras led Niigata with 16 points. Jeff Ayres and Zen Endo got 13 points each. Rosco Allen was held down to just 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
Ibaraki will head to Hokkai Kitayeru on Wednesday to take on Levanga. Meanwhile, Niigata takes on Shimane on the same day at City Hall Plaza Aore.