EASL Champions Chiba Jets Celebrate a Perfect Season

March 11, 2024

5 mins

EASL Champions Chiba Jets Celebrate a Perfect Season
EASL Champions Chiba Jets Celebrate a Perfect Season

Written by EASL

EASL Championship Game - Chiba Jets 72 vs. Seoul SK Knights 69

March 10, 2024 – Hoops Dome, Cebu

An unforgettable championship game for the books. It was a grind-it-out-affair for both teams, but the Chiba Jets emerged victorious in the final moments of the game.

The Seoul SK Knights had a chance to give Chiba their first loss of the EASL season, but Yuki Togashi spearheaded the comeback, and the Jets will return to Japan as EASL champions.

Post-Game Triple

  1. Chiba's two imports make significant in-game adjustments

At times, Xavier Cooks relieved Togashi of being the primary ballhandler. Cooks scored when it mattered the most, late in the fourth quarter. Jameel Warney played drop defense in the paint, and Cooks made him pay by scoring the bucket to give Chiba a three-point lead.

John Mooney played through some non-calls and did not allow frustration to get to his head. Offensively, he put pressure down low, and contributed 16 points and 16 rebounds.

  1. Chiba’s other contributors take pressure off Yuki Togashi 

Great teams cannot rely on star power alone.

Ren Kanechika may have only gone one-for-four from behind the arc, but he used the threat of his shooting to penetrate the lane. On one play in the first half, he threw a pump-fake from the perimeter and then made a dump-off pass to Ira Brown that gave Chiba a seven-point lead, forcing a Seoul timeout.

Naturalized player Ira Brown was the speed bump Chiba needed on Warney. Brown was able to frustrate Warney by not allowing him to score easily on isolation plays.

  1. Seoul’s imports’ in-game adjustments

Both imports for Seoul SK were impressive. In a battle of attrition, Warney and Leon Williams were not worn out.

Seoul has kept the same imports from last season and Williams played well off Warney. With Warney attracting so much defensive attention, he adjusted by becoming a playmaker for Williams. Instead of looking for his own shot, he found Williams down low for better shots several times.

EASL Player of the Game: Yuki Togashi, Chiba Jets 

Yuki Togashi’s lightning-quick pull-up threes have become an EASL trademark. He dazzled fans with his crossovers, leaving defenders in the dust.

He had a slow start to the game, but still made two three-pointers in the first half. Head Coach John Patrick had to adjust his schemes by allowing Xavier Cooks to handle the ball more, so Togashi could play off-ball.

Xavier Cook’s words after their semifinal win proved prophetic. When the Jets needed Togashi the most, he got a momentum-shifting steal and finished a fast-break lay-up.

Size has never deterred Togashi from becoming an incredible player and, as EASL Final Four MVP, he will continue to inspire Asian guards to level up.

Stat of the day

This game tilted both ways.

The Seoul SK Knights' defense-to-offense strategy was working. They had 11 steals compared to the Jets’ four. Seoul won the turnover and offensive rebounding battles as well; Seoul had 11 and 19, while Chiba had 14 and 15, respectively.

Given these stats, it is incredible Chiba still managed to win. 

Postgame Press Conference

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