Alvark Tokyo repeat as B.League champions, return to FIBA Asia Champions Cup
YOKOHAMA (Japan) - Alvark Tokyo repeat as champions of the Japanese B.League after beating Chiba Jets in the championship game, 71-67. They also secure a second consecutive trip to the FIBA Asia Champions Cup later this year with this championship win.
The game was tightly contested throughout the first half with Alvark up ahead 35-33. The third quarter was when the eventual champions pulled away, knocking down 5 three-pointers to outscore the Chiba Jets 29-12. The Jets fought back ferociously from down by as much as 19 to start the final quarter to only 2 points with 27 seconds left, but could not complete the comeback.
Alex Kirk iced two free-throws with 11 seconds left to seal back-to-back title for Alvark.
Yudai Baba starred for Alvark with a stat-stuffing line of 12 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals on his way to being named the Final MVP. Baba led all players in rebounding and was tied for most assists in the game, wrapping up another stellar season for the 23-year-old on a high note.
Ace of the Chiba Jets, Yuki Togashi, drilled in the clutch three that brought his team back to within 2 points, finishing the game with 19 points and 6 assists.
Alvark finished in 3rd place of the Eastern division of the B.league with a 44-16 record, claiming the top wildcard seed going into the playoffs. In the quarterfinals, they knocked out the Central division champions Niigata Albirex (45-15) in a 2-0 sweep. Later in the semifinals, Alvark had to win a decisive game 3 against Western division champions Ryukyu Golden Kings (40-20) on their way to a rematch against Eastern Division champs Chiba Jets in the championship game.
This is the second consecutive B.League championship for Alvark after also winning last season’s title over the Chiba Jets. This also means that Alvark get a ticket to return to the FIBA Asia Champions Cup for a second straight year. In the 2018 edition of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, Alvark Tokyo impressed fans and made it all the way to the championship game where they lost to Petrochimi of Iran. They now join KBL champions Ulsan Mobis and CBA champions Guangdong Southern Tigers as the first three teams to qualify for the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2019.