LEO Vendrame drilled the game-winning triple for SunRockers Shibuya as they broke the hearts of the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, 80-77, for a rousing start to their 2021-22 B.League season Saturday at Aoyama Gakuin Memorial Hall.
The former national team member drained the three from the top of the arc off of an assist from Kosuke Ishii at the buzzer for an invigorating start of their new campaign.
It capped off Vendrame's 17-point, 7-rebound, and 5-assist night as Shibuya averted a 15-point collapse.
Former NBA player James Michael McAdoo poured 26 points and 11 rebounds for the SunRockers, which saw their 64-54 lead heading into the final canto dissipate and even trailed by one, 69-68 with 4:37 left after a Yutaro Suda trey.
It only set up the nip-and-tuck finish, with Scott Eatherton tying the game for Nagoya at 77 with 2.9 seconds left.
Little did they know that it only set up for Vendrame's heroics in the final horn.
Tough was this loss for the Diamond Dolphins, who got 20 points built on five threes from Suda, on top of his sis rebounds and two assists.
Coty Clarke chimed in 14 points and six rebounds, Eatherton got 12 points and five boards, and Tenketsu Harimoto came off the bench for 11 and nine.
Lucky for Nagoya, the two teams clash anew on Sunday.
Nagoya misses Ray Parks
The Diamond Dolphins missed the services of Bobby Ray Parks, who was dealing with a muscle strain he suffered from the team practice.
Meanwhile, the Toyama Grouses also suffered the same fate, falling to the Shinshu Brave Warriors in a close 72-71 defeat at Toyama City Gymnasium.
Yuta Okada drilled two huge triples in the final minute, none bigger than his go-ahead trey with 30.4 seconds remaining to push Shinshu up by one.
Julian Mavunga had two cracks to steal the game for the Grouses, but the Brave Warriors' defense held on to take the first of the two-game series.
Okada powered Shinshu with 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists after missing his first six attempts from downtown.
Josh Hawkinson also collected 13 points, seven boards, and three assists, as Anthony McHenry and Reo Maeda both scored 12 in the conquest.
It was a tough start for Toyama, which was still missing Dwight Ramos who is serving his mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Mavunga led the Grouses with 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the losing effort.
Kevin Hareyama shot 14 points, while Joshua Smith got a double-double of 11 points, 11 boards, and five assists as Toyama hopes to redeem itself against Shinshu in Sunday.
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