Game Notes: Group A – Chiba Jets (4-0) vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (1-3)

December 26, 2023

5 mins

Game Notes: Group A – Chiba Jets (4-0) vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (1-3)
Game Notes: Group A – Chiba Jets (4-0) vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (1-3)

Written by EASL

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Struggling Fubon visit Chiba in do-or-die tilt

December 27, 2023 – Funabashi Arena, Chiba, Japan

Storylines:

  1. Which import pairing works best for Fubon?

The Braves have been struggling to find the best import pairing in their four games, resulting in a 1-3 record.

Fubon currently has Chris Johnson, Mike Singletary, Ihor Zaytsev, and Stephen Zimmerman registered as imports in the EASL season. Each team can play two imports per game according to EASL rules.

In the team’s first game against Chiba, Fubon went with a Singletary-Zaytsev combo. Singletary played well with a team-high 29 points and 18 rebounds, while Zaytsev added 11 points and six rebounds. Fubon lost by three.

In their second game against Jung Kwan Jang, Johnson entered in place of Singletary, joining Zaytsev as the two imports. The two combined for 35 points, but Fubon lost by 11.

In their third EASL game against TNT Tropang Giga, Singletary joined Johnson as the imports, with Zaytsev taking a backseat. This combo worked wonders for the team, combining to score 55 of Fubon’s 106 points to give the team their first victory of the EASL season.

Last Wednesday, Coach Hsu elected to go back to the Zaytsev-Johnson combo, and the two combined to score 29 points. Fubon lost to TNT, putting their EASL season at risk.

Zimmerman has yet to play a game in EASL this season.

With their lone win coming from the Singletary-Johnson combo, will Taipei go back to that duo?

 

  1. Jets – Final Four bound

Chiba Jets have been one of the most dominant teams in EASL this season, winning all four of their matches.

With Fubon’s loss to TNT last Wednesday, the Jets have clinched a spot in the Final Four.

The Jets have gotten balanced scoring from the players in EASL, with six players averaging in double figures this season. Center John Mooney has led the way, averaging an absurd 26 points and 19 rebounds in two EASL games.

  1. Mooney playing over the moon

Jets center John Mooney has a double-double machine this season.

The Notre Dame-alum has averaged 26 points and 19 rebounds in two EASL games this season, including a massive 22-22 double-double against EASL Champions Week champs, Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters.

With his performances on the court, Mooney has won EASL Player of the Game honors in the two games he played this season.

Fubon will need to find a way to limit the Jets' big man if they want any hope to win this game.

By the Numbers

Chiba Jets (Japan – B.LEAGUE)

- Team History:

  • Founded: 2005
  • 2020-21 B.LEAGUE Champions
  • Emperor’s Cup Champions (2017, 2018, 2019, 2023)

- 2022-23 B.LEAGUE season:

  • Runners up in 2022-23 B.LEAGUE season
  • B.LEAGUE record: 53 regular season wins
  • Loss just seven games all season
  • Embarked on a 24-game winning streak from December 2022 to March 2023
  • First on offense: scored 87.9 points per game
  • Fifth on defense: conceded 74.8 points per game
  • Playoffs: defeated Hiroshima Dragonflies 2-1 in quarterfinals; defeated Alvark Tokyo 2-0 in semifinals; lost to Ryukyu Golden Kings 2-0 in B.LEAGUE Finals

- EASL 2023-24 Season record: 4-0

  • October 11, 2023: 93-75 win over TNT Tropang Giga (PBA)
  • October 18, 2023: 85-82 win over Taipei Fubon Braves (P. LEAGUE+)
  • November 1, 2023: 75-66 win over TNT Tropang Giga (PBA)
  • December 13, 2023: 102-69 win over Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: John Mooney – 26.0 ppg
  • Rebounds: John Mooney – 19.0 rpg
  • Assists: Yuki Togashi – 5.3 apg
  • Steals: John Mooney – 2.5 spg
  • Blocks: D.J. Stephens – 2.7 bpg

- EASL 2023-24 Season upcoming games:

  • Home vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (P. LEAGUE+) – December 27, 2023
  • Home vs. Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL) – January 10, 2024

- EASL History:

  • 2019 Terrific 12: The Jets went 1-1, beating PBA side Blackwater Elite before losing to KBL side Seoul SK Knights.
  • 2018 Terrific 12: The Jets went 0-2, falling to CBA side Guangzhou Loong Lions and KBL side Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus.
  • 2017 Super 8: The Jets went 3-0, beating CBA side Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, Chinese Taipei side Taipei Fubon Braves, and KBL side Seoul Samsung Thunders. The Jets beat KBL side Goyang Orions in the semifinals, before beating Zhejiang again to win the 2017 EASL Super 8 tournament.

- 2023-24 B.LEAGUE Season record: 13-11

  • October 5, 2023: 80-63 win over Saga Ballooners
  • October 7, 2023: 80-79 win over Saga Ballooners
  • October 14, 2023: 93-86 win over Sun Rockers Shibuya
  • October 15, 2023: 84-82 win over Sun Rockers Shibuya
  • October 21, 2023: 89-66 loss against Yokohama B-Corsairs
  • October 22, 2023: 88-70 win over Yokohama B-Corsairs
  • October 25, 2023: 87-66 loss against Kawasaki Brave Thunders
  • October 28, 2023: 79-69 win over Fighting Eagles Nagoya
  • October 29, 2023: 88-73 loss against Fighting Eagles Nagoya
  • November 4, 2023: 88-83 loss against SeaHorses Mikawa
  • November 5, 2023: 101-90 win over SeaHorses Mikawa
  • November 8, 2023: 86-78 win over Gunma Crane Thunders
  • November 11, 2023: 95-76 loss against Saga Ballooners
  • November 12, 2023: 78-72 win over Saga Ballooners
  • November 30, 2023: 87-83 win over Shimane Susanoo Magic
  • December 1, 2023: 90-53 loss against Shimane Susanoo Magic
  • December 6, 2023: 94-72 win over Ibaraki Robots
  • December 9, 2023: 92-61 win over Nagoya Diamond Dolphins
  • December 10, 2023: 99-71 loss against Nagoya Diamond Dolphins
  • December 16, 2023: 93-88 loss against Sun Rockers Shibuya
  • December 17, 2023: 89-75 win over Sun Rockers Shibuya
  • December 20, 2023: 78-65 loss against Utsunomiya Brex
  • December 23, 2023: 92-76 loss against Sendai 89ers
  • December 24, 2023: 96-72 win over Sendai 89ers

- B.LEAGUE 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Yuki Togashi – 20.0 ppg
  • Rebounds: John Mooney – 12.3 rpg
  • Assists: Yuki Togashi – 4.6 apg
  • Steals: John Mooney – 1.2 spg
  • Blocks: Xavier Cooks – 0.8 bpg

Taipei Fubon Braves (Chinese Taipei – P. LEAGUE+)

- Team History:

  • Founded: 1982
  • 3x P. LEAGUE+ Championships (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • 1x SBL Championship (2019)

- 2023 P. LEAGUE+ Champions

  • Regular Season: 25-15 record, 2nd in P. LEAGUE+
  • Playoffs: defeated Taoyuan Pauian Pilots 3-0 in semifinals; defeated New Taipei Kings 4-2 in finals

- EASL 2023-24 Season record: 1-3

  • October 18, 2023: 82-85 loss against Chiba Jets (B.LEAGUE)
  • October 25, 2023: 98-77 loss against Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL)
  • November 15, 2023: 106-97 win over TNT Tropang Giga (PBA)
  • December 20, 2023: 80-69 loss against TNT Tropang Giga (PBA)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Michael Singletary – 27.5 ppg
  • Rebounds: Michael Singletary – 14.0 rpg
  • Assists: Sedrick Barefield – 5.3 apg
  • Steals: 4 players – 2.0 spg
  • Blocks: Chris Johnson – 1.7 bpg

- EASL 2023-24 Season upcoming games:

  • Away vs. Chiba Jets (B.LEAGUE) – December 27, 2023
  • Home vs. Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL) – February 7, 2024

- EASL History:

  • 2023 EASL Champions Week: Braves went 0-2, losing to KBL side Anyang KGC and B.LEAGUE side Ryukyu Golden Kings
  • 2018 Terrific 12 (an EASL competition): Braves went 1-1, defeating CBA side Shandong Golden Stars and losing to KBL side Seoul Samsung Thunders

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ Season record: 4-5

  • November 11, 2023: 89-96 loss against New Taipei Kings
  • November 12, 2023: 115-94 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • November 19, 2023: 89-86 loss against Formosa Dreamers
  • November 26, 2023: 99-84 win over Hsinchu Lioneers
  • December 2, 2023: 90-76 loss against Formosa Dreamers
  • December 9, 2023: 93-80 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • December 16, 2023: 111-104 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • December 17, 2023: 103-102 loss against Hsinchu Lioneers
  • December 23, 2023: 111-106 loss against New Taipei Kings

- B.LEAGUE 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Michael Singletary – 19.9 ppg
  • Rebounds: Stephen Zimmerman – 9.8 rpg
  • Assists: Michael Singletary – 5.4 apg
  • Steals: Lin Chih-Chieh – 1.4 spg
  • Blocks: Michael Singletary & Chris Johnson – 1.0 bpg

Players to Watch

Chiba Jets

#2 Yuki Togashi – PG

- Former NBA G League Player (Texas Legends)

- Japan: B.LEAGUE – Chiba Jets

  • 2019 B.LEAGUE MVP
  • 2017 B.LEAGUE All-Star Game MVP
  • 7x B.LEAGUE Best Five (2017-23)
  • 2x B.LEAGUE Assist Leader (2020, 2022)
  • 2x Emporer's Cup MVP (2019, 2023)
  • 2014 bj league Best Five Team
  • 2014 bj league All-Star Game MVP

- Japan National Basketball Team Captain (2023 FIBA World Cup: Qualified for Olympic Berth)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 18.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 5.3 apg

- 2023-24 B.LEAGUE Season stats:

  • 20.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.0 spg

#10 Xavier Cooks – F

- USA NCAA Division 1: Winthrop (2014-18)

  • Winthrop’s all-time rebounder
  • Winthrop's all-time shot-blocker
  • 2018 Big South Player of the Year
  • 2× First-team All-Big South (2017, 2018)
  • 2016 Second-team All-Big South
  • 2015 Big South All-Freshman Team
  • Big South Men's Basketball All-Decade Team (2010–19)

- Former NBA player (Washington Wizards)

- Australia: NBL – Sydney Kings

  • 2× NBL champion (2022, 2023)
  • 2022 NBL Grand Final MVP (2022)
  • 2023 NBL Most Valuable Player (2023)
  • 2023 All-NBL First Team (2023)
  • 2022 All-NBL Second Team (2022)

- New Zealand: NZNBL – Wellington Saints

  • 2022 NZNBL MVP
  • 2022 NZNBL All-Star Five
  • 2022 NZNBL Most Outstanding Forward

- Germany: Basketball Bundesliga - Würzburg Baskets

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 19.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.0 spg

- 2023-24 B.LEAGUE Season stats:

  • 10.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.7 apg

#33 John Mooney – C

- USA NCAA Division 1: Notre Dame (2016-20)

  • 2020 First-team All-ACC
  • 2019 Third-team All-ACC

- Australia: NBL – Perth Wildcats

  • 2021 NBL Cup winner
  • 2021 All-NBL First Team
  • 2021 NBL rebounding leader (11.4 rpg)
  • 2021 Perth Wildcats MVP

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 26.0 ppg, 19.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.5 spg

- B.LEAGUE 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 18.4 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.2 spg

Taipei Fubon Braves

#5 Chris Johnson – PF

 

- USA NCAA Division 1: Louisiana State (2005-2009)

  • 2009 SEC All-Defensive Team

- Former NBA player (Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves)

  • NBA career stats: 71 games – 2.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg

- Former NBA D League player (Dakota Wizards, Santa Cruz Warriors)

  • 2011 All-NBA D-League First Team
  • 2011 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2011 NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team
  • 2011 NBA D-League All-Star

- Chinese Taipei: P. LEAGUE+ - Taipei Fubon Braves

  • 3x P. LEAGUE+ champion (Taipei Fubon Braves: 2021, 2022, 2023)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 22.0 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.7 bpg

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 17.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 bpg

#17 Michael Singletary – PF

- USA NCAA Division 1: Texas Tech (2007-2011)

- Former NBA D League player (Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Erie Bayhawks)

  • 2013 NBA D-League champion (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

- Chinese Taipei: P. LEAGUE+ - Taipei Fubon Braves

  • 3× P. LEAGUE+ champion (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • 2× P. LEAGUE+ Finals MVP (2021, 2022)

- Thailand League: Mono Vampire

  • 2017 Thailand League champion
  • 2017 Thailand League MVP
  • 2x Thailand Basketball Super League (2017, 2018)
  • 2018 Thailand Basketball Super League MVP

- Italy: Serie A2 - Basket Ravenna Piero Manetti

  • 2015 Serie A2 Basket All-Star

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 27.5 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.0 spg

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 19.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg

#2 Sedrick Barefield – PG

- USA NCAA Division 1: SMU (2015-16), Utah (2016-19)

  • 2019 First-Team All-Pac 12 (Utah)

- Former NBA G League player (Oklahoma City Blue)

- Previous teams played:

  • Lithuania: LKL – Nevėžis Kėdainiai
  • Greece: GBL – Apollon Patras
  • Chinese Taipei: T1 League – Tainan TSG GhostHawks
  • EASL: – Bay Area Dragons
  • Guinea: BAL –SLAC

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 18.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.0 spg

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg

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