Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB could not sustain their strong start and lost steam down the stretch of a stinging 69-72 defeat by Levanga Hokkaido in the 2021-22 Japan B. League at the Hokkai Kitayell on Sunday (17 October).
Paras poured out 18 points built on three triples and three rebounds for the Albirex BB but his efforts proved not enough to thwart the comeback attempt of Hokkaido.
Levanga leaned on the spirited performances of Shawn Long and De'Mon Brooks to storm back from a deficit as high as 18 in the second period and complete a weekend sweep of Niigata in their two-game home stand.
Long delivered a near double-double output of 22 points and eight boards while dishing out three dimes for Hokkaido, which received an 18-point, six-rebound and three-assist production from Brooks.
Clinging onto a slim 70-69 lead, Brooks came up clutch in the endgame after draining a cold-blooded floater with less than 15 seconds left on the clock.
Rosco Allen had a chance to salvage Niigata from its collapse with a three-pointer in the waning seconds but he muffed his attempt as time expired in favor of Levanga.
Allen wound up with 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks in a lost cause as Albirex BB fell to a 2-4 slate.
Paras and Niigata willattempt to redeem themselves when they take on the Seahorses Mikawa next weekend.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.