June 25, 2024

Hiroshima Dragonflies complete hero arc and dethrone Ryukyu as B.LEAGUE Champions

Hiroshima Dragonflies complete hero arc and dethrone Ryukyu as B.LEAGUE Champions
Hiroshima is the new B1 champion. Photo (c) B.League

There’s a new no. 1 team in Japan.

 

The Hiroshima Dragonflies are the new B.League B1 champions, dethroning the Ryukyu Golden Kings with a wire-to-wire 65-50 Game 3 victory Tuesday at the Yokohama Arena.

 

 

 

 

Hiroshima bucked a Game 1 loss to take the crown off of Ryukyu in three grueling games, winning the B1 title for the first time in team history.

 

The scrappy Dragonflies, who languished as the worst B1 team in 2021, also became the third wildcard team ever to win the B.League title.

 

Hiroshima’s comeback to take this season’s title actually started in the second half of Game 2, when the Dragonflies erased a double-digit deficit in the third quarter.

 

The Dragonflies won Game 2 on a 22-point turnaround, and then continued to put the clamps on Ryukyu in a grind out Game 3.

 

Hiroshima slowly wore down the Golden Kings in the title clincher, putting the finishing touches in the fourth where they put it all together to cap an incredible title run that saw them beat the Central Conference Champion San-en NeoPhoenix, Western Conference Champion Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, and the defending B1 Champion Golden Kings.

 

 

 

 

Showing incredible balance, nine of the 10 Dragonflies that played in Game 3 scored at least a basket.

 

Dwayne Evans led the way with 13 points, winning his first B.League title at the expense of his former team. Takuto Nakamura added 12 points for Hiroshima.

 

Vic Law carried the fight for Ryukyu with 16 points and was the only Golden King to shoot over 50 percent from the field. Ryukyu as a team shot 32 percent in a disappointing end to the team’s title reign.

 

Ryo Yamazaki was named Playoff MVP for Hiroshima, averaging 13.9 points per game, a full six points better than his regular season average. Nakamura was the Finals MVP, averaging 10.0 points per game in the series.