Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB could not arrest their losing slide in the 2021/22 Japan B. League, after dropping a heartbreaking 78-79 loss to Alvark Tokyo at the Arena Tachikawa Tachihi on Wednesday (27 October).
While the Filipino stalwart delivered 13 points, three steals, a rebound and an assist, his effort was not enough to prevent his side from collapsing down the stretch as the Albirex suffered their sixth consecutive loss to fall to a 2-7 hole.
Niigata sat on a 14-point cushion in the third period and even held a double-digit lead at 74-64 in the last five minutes of regulation, before crumbling to late-game spurt of Ryan Rossiter and the Alvark.
Rossiter delivered the goods for Tokyo with 11 points, the last two of which came within the last 30 seconds of the thrilling heist, as he picked the pocket of Rosco Allen before converting on the offensive end.
While Rossiter strapped the team behind his back down the stretch, it was Alex Kirk and his 22-point production that helped keep the scoreline close for Alvark, who now hold a 6-3 record.
On the other hand, Allen, who fluffed his game-winning attempt at the end, finished with a double-double performance of 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists that went for naught.
Paras and Niigata will try to snap out of their funk when they collide with the Ryukyu Golden Kings on 6 November.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.