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Rizing Fukuoka's Game-Winning turnaround. - Nov 9, 2012

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As reported by the Japan Times, Coach Atsushi Kanazawa's club triumphed twice last weekend against the Takamatsu Five Arrows to jump into fifth place in the 10-team Western Conference.

The Rizing are relying on mainstays Jun Nakanishi and Akitomo Takeno in the backcourt along with newcomers Josh Peppers, Julius Ashby and Reggie Warren for the majority of the team's production.

Also in the mix are rookie sharpshooter Zane Johnson, a University of Hawaii product, veterans Satoshi Ishitani and Masahiro Kano, along with relatively unknown Rintaro Tokunaga, Keisuke Takabatake and Junya Masumoto.

Warren was an integral part of Takamatsu and Kyoto Hannaryz playoff teams in years past, and Ashby has been to the Final Four as a member of the Five Arrows, Tokyo Apache and Niigata Albirex BB.

Peppers has made major contributions for the Sendai 89ers and Shiga Lakestars in the postseason, while Takeno and Nakanishi have also been tested in the playoffs while competing for

Niigata and Fukuoka for the former and Tokyo, Osaka Evessa and Fukuoka for the latter.

That veteran leadership has given the Rizing an edge in preparation compared with some teams without that collective experience of years spent in the bj-league.

"I think the key to our chemistry is getting a lot better each and every game," Warren told The Japan Times on Tuesday. "With me and Peppers joining the team late, I think that played a part in the slow start.

"We are all communicating to suggest different things to the coach, especially the leaders of the team with me and Jun being more of the vocal players adding a lot of input on what's going on, and coach actually listening and respecting our voice is key," added Warren, a power forward who's averaging 15.9 points and 12.5 rebounds with six double-doubles in eight games.

Peppers, averaging 18.6 ppg, is the team's top option on offense. Ashby, an athletic, forceful presence in the middle, is scoring at an 11.5 ppg clip. Takeno, one of the best pure shooters in league history, and Nakanishi, who has played in the fledgling circuit since 2005, are both contributing 9.6 ppg.

The players have not been shy about speaking out and saying what they think are keys for the team's success, Warren said.

"Everyone has respect for each other and we all have played many games in this league and understand how it works," he added, referring to the team's veteran corps. "I think we know and understand our roles and the younger guys are following our lead.

Johnson is currently nursing a sprained ankle, but has already made a strong impression during the young season's first month.

"The guy can flat-out shoot," Warren said, "and he's going to help us so much. If teams continue to try and double team me and Ashby, Zane will make them pay."

None of the current Rizing players have been on a bj-league championship team, and that motivates them to aim to be the best this season.

"We all talk about the same thing," Warren said. "All of us have the same goals: to reach the finals. I think this team has what it takes and is hungry for a title."

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Hamamatsu target another league title.- Oct.2, 2015  (by Emeka)

According to Japan times, the 11th and final bj-league season gets underway on Friday night, signaling an end to several months of massive changes within the league. Meanwhile, three proud franchises - the reigning champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, Osaka Evessa and Ryukyu Golden Kings - have a shot at breaking the deadlock for most titles (three) before the book is closed on this colorful chapter in Japanese basketball history. The Evessa haven't won a title since league legends... [read more]
Holm returns to Sendai- Aug.29, 2015  (by Emeka)

According to the Japan Times, Chris Holm, an integral part of the Sendai 89ers' success during the final years of the Honoo Hamaguchi era, is returning to the Tohoku-based club.The veteran center finalized a deal with the 89ers for the 2015-16 season, the team recently announced.One of the premier rebounders in league history, Holm played a starring role for the Niigata Albirex BB, Kyoto Hannaryz and Shiga Lakestars, helping all three franchises, advance to the Final Four over the past fo... [read more]
Warren joins Hamamatsu - Aug.29, 2015  (by Emeka)

According to the Japan Times, Reggie Warren, one of the premier players in bj-league history, will suit up for the defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix in the circuit's final campaign.The Phoenix, who entered last season's playoffs as the Western Conference's No. 3 seed, made the announcement over the weekend.Warren played for the Kyoto Hannaryz, one of Hamamatsu's top conference rivals, during the 2014-15 campaign, when the Kansai club won a league-record 44 games. It was h... [read more]
Hamamatsu sign Warren Aug.29, 2015
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Karimata, Jones carry Fukushima past Yokohama Mar.31, 2015
Akita overcome struggling Tokyo Dec.19, 2014
Shiga outplays Gunma in first bj-league contest for ex-NBA coach Parker, center Ely Oct.11, 2014
Alvark hold off Kings spirited comeback Sep.6, 2014
Gunma hires longtime NBA assistant Parker as new coach Aug.2, 2014
Isa to lead champion Ryukyu again next season Jun.26, 2014
Golden Kings dismantle Happinets in bj-league final As Kishimoto is named MVP May.26, 2014
Brave Warriors avenge loss to 89ers Apr.21, 2014
Nakama set to retire Apr.21, 2014
Iwate cruises past Gunma, keeps victory streak alive Apr.21, 2014
Joho powers Grouses past Evessa Mar.18, 2014
East power Akita decides to make roster move: source Feb.7, 2014
Shimizu leads HeatDevils past Hannaryz Jan.9, 2014
Shimane struggling after departure of coach, top star Jan.9, 2014
Akita making run for title Dec.8, 2013
D-League teams draft five bj-league alumni Nov.6, 2013
Murry leads Niigata past previously unbeaten Toyama Nov.6, 2013
B-Corsairs slump to defeat against Big Bulls Nov.6, 2013
Alvark beat Brex to get NBL up and running Oct.3, 2013
Players react after NBL takes unilateral action Oct.3, 2013
Nakamuras coaching tree stretches throughout league Sep.2, 2013
Hitachi Sunrockers sign Darryl Webb Jul.28, 2013
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