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Dwight Ramos, Joshua Smith help Toyama reach Emperor’s Cup Round 4

Dwight Ramos and Toyama escaped the clutches of the Javi Gomez de Liano-less Ibaraki Robots, taking a 93-87 win to advance to the next round of the 97th Emperor’s Cup, Monday at the Hokkai Kitayell in Hokkaido.

With the win, the Grouses will face the Kawasaki Brave Thunders in the fourth round of the All-Japan Championship on December 1.

But the Grouses needed to work to beat the 11-man Robots.

Leading by 11 points, 73-62, early in the final frame, Toyama saw its lead dwindle down to just two, 85-83, after a big bucket courtesy of Kohei Fukuzawa.

Kevin Hareyama was able to find Julian Mavunga underneath to stop the Grouses’ bleeding.

Big buckets from Keijuro Matsui and Joshua Smith sealed the win for Toyama.

Smith and Mavunga both had 20 points with the former also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists while the latter had nine assists and six rebounds to offset his seven turnovers.

Matsui added 15 points as Ramos scattered five points, four rebounds, and three assists.

Chehales Tapscott paced Ibaraki with 27 points and eight rebounds while Atsunobu Hirao added 14 points and three assists.

Marc Trasolini got 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while Kohei Fukuzawa also had 13 points.

Toyama looks to build on its momentum in its B.League return this weekend against Kawasaki on the road.

Ibaraki, on the other hand, hopes to have Gomez de Liano this weekend when it squares off against Osaka at the Ookini Arena Maishima.

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