Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo did not have the B.League debuts they had dreamt of.
Still, it was Tamayo who will get the bonus as Ryukyu outgunned Hiroshima in the 2022-23 B.League season, 86-78, Wednesday at Okinawa Arena.
Tamayo, a product of University of the Philippines, did not play in the game as he is still being broken into the Golden Kings rotation by head coach Dai Oketani.
Meanwhile, Sotto was a starter for the Dragonflies and tallied 10 points and three blocks in 18 minutes. However, the 7-foot-3 former Adelaide player only grabbed two boards.
In the game, the Dragonflies could not break past the five-point lead of the Golden Kings.
Kerry Blackshear knocked down two free throws with 1:12 remaining to cut the lead down to 80-75. Allen Durham though was just too steady from the stripe that sent the fans in Okinawa home happy.
Ryuichi Kishimoto led Ryukyu with 20 points while Durham tallied 19 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Keita Imamura chipped in 14 markers as well.
The win extended Ryukyu’s streak to seven games, rising to a 30-9 record in the West. Meanwhile, Hiroshima fell to 28-11, absorbing their second straight defeat.
The Dragonflies were led by Blackshear with 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Naoto Tsuji and Dwayne Evans finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, it was a full slate for the B.League that featured all Filipino players.
In a battle of good friends, it was Matthew Wright who triumphed over Bobby Ray Parks as Kyoto stunned Nagoya, 74-71, over at Dolphins’ Arena.
Wright tallied 15 points, nine assists, and five rebounds. On the other hand, Parks was limited to just six points on 1-of-8 shooting.
The Hannaryz went up to 16-23 while Diamond Dolphins dropped to 27-12.
Over at Wing Arena, Thirdy Ravena and San-En continued their rise, dropping Mikawa, 87-74.
Thirdy finished with 10 points, helping the NeoPhoenix rise to 17-22 — fifth in the Central District.
The struggles of Kiefer and Shiga, on the other hand, continued at Daihatsu Arena as the hosts fell to Shimane, 98-89.
Kiefer, who came off the bench, only had eight points in 22 minutes. The Lakestars remained tied at last place with Niigata with a 5-34 slate.
Finally, Dwight Ramos and Hokkaido defeated Ibaraki at home, 88-83.
Ramos only played 14 minutes and tallied 14 points but the Levanga were able to go up to a 10-29.