Kobe Paras and Niigata fell short in their upset bid against defending B.League champion Chiba, absorbing its 11th consecutive loss via a tight 83-88 outing loss, Sunday at Funabashi Arena.
Paras yesterday saw himself held to a season-low two points in the match-up. This time, he bounced back with 15 points off an efficient 6-of-8 clip. He also had four assists and three rebounds in the loss.
With the scores locked at 81 with 1:25 left in the game, Shuta Hara converted a contested layup to give the Jets a two-point lead. Christopher Smith then followed it up with a booming triple, 86-81, with 52 ticks left to fend off the Albirex.
Jeff Ayres sliced the lead to just three with 9.6 seconds remaining, but Yuki Togashi iced the game with two free throws.
Chiba remain in third with a 10-4 standing in the Eastern Division. It was led by Smith with 22 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Togashi ended with 17 points and six assists, while Hara added 14 markers, five boards, and two dimes.
Niigata figured in a hot start in the first half, leading by as much as 14 points. Then they ended the second quarter with a 43-32 lead, with Paras pouring nine points in the half.
Chiba then started to gain momentum in the third canto, outscoring the Albirex, 35-17, capped off by a 10-0 rally to take a seven-point advantage, 67-60, entering the final frame.
Paras’ side eventually regained the lead in the fourth quarter. Still, the Jets’ composure in the final moments proved enough to secure the series sweep.
Rosco Allen finished with 26 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Mea nwhile, Ayres contributed 14 points and eight boards in the loss.
Niigata slipped to the eleventh spot of the same division with a league-worst 2-12 record.
Niigata will take on Akita at the City Hall Plaza Aore Nagaoka on December 4 at 6:05 PM.