EARTHFRIENDS Tokyo Z gave Juan Gomez de Liano a big birthday present, getting their first win in the 2021-22 B.League second division season with a 98-65 win over the Ehime Orange Vikings Friday at Ota City General Gymnasium.
Takumi Masuko caught fire early and went 4-of-5 from deep to spearhead the home team's fiery first half that finally ended the misery of 13 straight defeats to begin the season.
Masuko ended up with 18 points, seven assists, and three steals as Tokyo Z finished the game on a 9-of-29 clip from beyond the arc.
Juan GDL contributes
Gomez de Liano did his share with seven points, four assists, one rebound, and one steal against zero turnovers in his 25 minutes on the floor to celebrate his 22nd birthday.
The Filipino import's layup with six minutes left gave the Earthfriends a 31-point lead -the biggest before Pat Andree put on the finishing touches with a pair of charities in the final minute for the 33-point spread.
Marc Eddy Norelia just missed out on a triple-double with 24 points, 15 boards, nine assists, and four steals for Tokyo Z as Joshua Crawford tallied a team-high 29 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and two rejections in the breakthrough win.
Tokyo Z will look to build on this win when it plays Ehime anew on Saturday.
Andrew Fitzgerald paced the Orange Vikings with 23 points and four rebounds, while former Phoenix import Eugene Phelps produced a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards in the loss that sent their side to a 3-11 record.
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