Kobe Paras’ heroics fell short as Niigata bowed out of the 97th Emperor’s Cup via a heartbreaking 102-105 overtime loss at the hands of Hiroshima, Sunday afternoon at Kishiwada City Gym in Osaka, Japan.
Paras has been clutch for Albirex BB so far in the B.League. And he nailed two free throws with 32 seconds left in extra time to tie things up at 100.
Gregory Echenique, though, responded with two freebies of his own to give the lead back to the Fireflies.
In the next possession, Paras missed on a shot. But luckily for Albirex, Hiryu Okamoto was there to score on a layup for the 102-all tie.
Ryo Terashima ended the contest with a buzzer-beating triple to send Niigata packing.
Paras had 21 points, two assists, and a steal.
Kimitake Sato and Rosco Allen both had 28 points for Niigata, with the latter also grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
The Fireflies saw five players score in double-digits. Charles Jackson led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Terashima had 18 points built on four treys, while Thomas Kennedy added 17 points.
Echenique and Nick Mayo had 16 and 15 points, respectively, with the former also grabbing nine boards.
Albirex look to snap their six-game slide in the B.League next weekend when they face Ryukyu at home.