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Kobe Paras goes scoreless vs Gunma as Niigata gets out of B.League cellar

It took 35 games, but Niigata finally got out of the B.League’s cellar.

The Albirex scored its most impressive win of the season, routing Gunma, 96-79, to secure their fifth win, Sunday at City Hall Plaza Ao-re Nagaoka.

With the win, Niigata climbed to 23rd place in the standings with a 5-29 record — leapfrogging Thirdy Ravena’s San-En, who is at 4-26 as of publishing.

Down by 15 early, the trio of Rosco Allen, Keigo Kimura, and Jeff Ayres powered Albirex’s 30-point second quarter explosion to gain a 43-41 halftime lead.

The Niigata momentum carried over to the third canto with another 30-point period. This time around, Albirex also zoned in on defense, limiting the Crane Thunders to just 14 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

It was all Niigata from there, cruising to victory.

Kobe Paras was held scoreless by Gunma – going 0-of-4 from the field. Still, Niigata saw six players put up double-digit scoring efforts.

Allen, of course, led the way with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Ayres and Kimura got 18 points apiece with the latter draining five treys.

Yuto Hohmi tallied 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Meanwhile, Tshilidzi Nephawe finally broke out of his slump, contributing 13 points.

Gunma, who dropped to 13-18, was led by the 29 points of Trey Jones. Ondrej Balvin added 20 points and seven rebounds in the loss.

Niigata will have a long break before facing Akita on March 5 and 6 at Noshiro City Gymnasium.

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