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Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006
HeatDevils scorch Apache at Ariake
By ED ODEVEN
The Oita HeatDevils delivered a big-time payback on Saturday night at Ariake Colosseum, leading from start to finish in a 107-79 victory over the Tokyo Apache.
Tokyo swept the HeatDevils in the teams' first series of the season on Nov. 18-19 in Oita.
The Apache, who entered the game on a five-game winning streak, dropped to 5-4 despite a 40-point game from John "Helicopter" Humphrey.
Oita (4-5) snapped a four-game losing streak.
Andy Ellis (28 points), Chris Ayer (22), Justin Allen (19) and Mikey Marshall (11) paced the HeatDevil attack, while point guard Yukinori Suzuki handed out nine assists, Mikey Marshall added seven and reserve Ryosuke Mizumachi had five.
After the game, Tokyo coach Joe Bryant said, "I was disappointed because we've been playing so well.
"I wanted a better effort from our players," he continued, noting both teams entered the game with opposite streaks.
He added: "I think their sense of urgency was more than our sense of urgency."
To highlight this point, Bryant pointed to his team's three personal fouls in the first half as a sign of its passive play.
The HeatDevils finished with 31 assists to Tokyo's 10. Throughout the contest, Oita players moved well without the ball and made passes without excessive dribbling. This was a key, according to first-year coach Dai Oketani.
"They didn't make the dribble, because if they dribble they cannot have space," Oketani said, explaining the strategy. "So today they didn't dribble.
"They made open space (inside)."
Oita's potent inside-outside attack propelled the team to an 81-46 lead after three quarters.
In the first three quarters, the HeatDevils shot a sizzling 28-for-47 on 2-point attempts to build that insurmountable lead. They were 8-for-17 on 3-point shots as well.
Bryant said the HeatDevils passed the ball well, but also admitted his team failed to make adjustments and didn't play the passing lanes effectively.
In the final quarter, Tokyo's Kohei Aoki had 15 of his 22 points.