Aisin forward J.R. Sakuragi had a game-high 23 points, including two key free throws in the final minute, to lift the SeaHorses to a 66-61 victory over the Hitachi Sunrockers in Game 1 of the JBL playoff semifinals at Yoyogi Gymnasium No. 2 on Saturday. Aisin, the two-time defending champion, made 51.1 percent of its shots from the field. The Sunrockers shot 38.8 percent.
|Solid performance: Link Tochigi Brex point guard Yuta Tabuse, seen dribbling through traffic, scores 16 points against the Panasonic Trians in the opening game of their best-of-three JBL playoff semifinal series on Saturday. Panasonic beat Link Tochigi 91-81.
In the other semifinal matchup, Panasonic forward Jerald Honeycutt came up with 20 points in just 20-plus minutes as the Trians defeated the Link Tochigi Brex 91-81 in the first game of their series. Yuta Tabuse scored a team-high 16 points for the Brex.
The semifinal round features best-of-three series.