MANILA, Philippines — Carl Tamayo was benched in his supposed first B.League game but the Ryukyu Golden Kings spoiled Kai Sotto’s debut for the Hiroshima Dragonflies with an 86-78 victory on Wednesday at Okinawa Arena.
Tamayo and Sotto’s first showdown in Japan will have to wait as the Golden Kings’ newest Filipino import didn’t play coming off their stint in the East Asia Super League Champions Week.
“I just came here I understand coach Dai (Oketani). I’ll just keep on working hard and I’ll be prepared if coach Dai needs me. I’m just happy that we won the game,” said Tamayo after the game in a media availability with the Philippine media.
The 7-foot-3 Sotto debuted with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and had three blocks, two rebounds, and a steal in 19 minutes of play in the loss.
“I believe my team played well. We had some turnovers that we could fix. I think all in all it was a good game for both teams. They just played better and shot better. I was shocked to see how they made those tough shots,” Sotto said. “I had fun on my first game. The positive thing is we’re only gonna get better. The next game will be more fun to watch because we’re gonna level up more.”
The Golden Kings earned their seventh straight win to improve to a 30-9 record.
Ryuichi Kishimoto led Ryukyu with 20 points, while Former PBA import Allen Durham scattered 19 points, four rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
The Dragonflies dropped to 28-11 in Sotto’s debut.
Meanwhile, Matthew Wright got the better of Ray Parks Jr. as the Kyoto Hannaryz beat the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, 74-71.
Wright delivered 15 points, nine assists, and five rebounds as Kyoto improved to 16-23, coming off the Fiba break.
Parks was limited to six points, five rebounds, and two assists as Nagoya slid to a 27-12 record.
Thirdy Ravena put up 10 points, three rebounds and one assist to help the San-En NeoPhoenix end a three-game skid after dominating the Seahorses Mikawa, 87-74.
The NeoPhoenix rose to 17-22.
Dwight Ramos only had four points in 14 minutes of play but the Levanga Hokkaido (10-29) earned their second straight win against the Ibaraki Robots, 88-83.
However, Kiefer Ravena tallied eight points three rebounds, and two assists as the Shiga Lakes (5-34) continued to slump after losing to the Shimane Susanoo, 98-89.
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