24 Daiki Tanaka (JPN)
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Timely Tanaka daggers seal the deal, Alvark stays undefeated in win over Bolts

NONTHABURI (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018) — It was another tightly contested game in Group B of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018, with Alvark Tokyo coming out with a 84-73 victory over the Meralco Bolts to remain undefeated.

Daika Tanaka knocked down two clutch shots with the defense in his face down the final stretch to give Alvark their biggest lead since the first quarter. The Japan National Team guard put up 17 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists while making 3 of 5 shots from downtown. The B.League champions ended up holding on to another win despite a furious rally by their opponents.

Alvark had an 8-point lead early in the first quarter but the Meralco Bolts got back into the game through the brute force of Allen Durham (31 points, 12 rebounds) and Diamond Stone (28 points, 8 rebounds). The game went back and forth for most of the contest with Meralco countering every run Alvark made to widen the gap.

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Just like in the previous game against Al-Riyadi, Seiya Ando connected with Alex Kirk for an alley-oop with one minute left in the game to put the nail in the coffin and seal the win.

The crisp ball rotation and passing of Alvark proved to be their strong suit once again, as 21 of their 28 field goals were assisted in this game. Seven of Alvark’s players scored at least 6 points, highlighting the balanced offence of the Japanese club.

Alvark will face the Mono Vampire Basketball Club tomorrow with a chance to sweep the competition in the Group phase. The Meralco Bolts will have their hands full as their try to avoid a winless record by facing defending champions, Al-Riyadi.