B1 ROUND 36 : May 07, 2023
KYOTO HANNARYZ 85 - 69 SHIGA LAKES
(Matthew Wright: MW) It felt like a playoff atmosphere today. Both sides of the court, SHIGA side and the HANNARYZ side were both very into it. It was exciting. You wouldn't know that we weren't playing for a playoff spot by today's atmosphere. So it was very exciting. I'm glad we got the win and we ended the season on positive note.
(MW) Well, our game plan was just to control their penetration because they were hitting a lot of threes because players like Kai Toews and Kiefer were able to get into the paint and then they're able to kick out. So if we limit that, then catch and shoot players wouldn't be able to score as often. So that was definitely part of the game plan.
(MW) SHIGA is not actually a bad team. They have great players. It's just unfortunate for them. But we wanted to win the game regardless because that's our attitude. We wanted to build momentum going towards next season. It's tough when you have to rely on the last game of the season to stay in the league. So I'm sure that they're disappointed, but as far as our team is concerned, we just want to win that game and give our fans the respect that they deserve and fight till the end, which is what we did.
(MW) Yeah. We were surprised to see Kanta play well today. Not surprised, but it was a nice surprise for us because he's been struggling a couple of games. Ryuji also, and today they stepped up huge. In the absence of a lot of players, we feel like we have a balanced team, especially when guys are hitting their shots and everyone's unselfish and they make the right path. So we're not those teams that rely on just one scorer every game. There's a different high scorer on our team. I think that shows our versatility, and our unselfishness.
(MW) I think I played well this season. It took a little bit of an adjustment for me first couple of weeks, just to learn the system of our team, learn our opponents. I only knew about a few Japanese players before this, so now I'm a lot more familiar playing teams four times. Now I have a good feel and a scouting report of every player and every team in this league. So I'm only expecting to get better or become more efficient, and I was just happy that I ended the season off healthy, only missed a few games. And I believe in this team and I believe in the system, and I think that we're only going to get better.
(MW) It was great. Those are the games that you wake up and you want to play in. You could feel the energy during the warm ups. I'm not used to hearing boo's when I'm shooting free throws in KYOTO. But the SHIGA fans were great. Very supportive, obviously. And it felt like a playoff game. It didn't feel like it was just the last game of the season. It felt like we were playing for something more.
(MW) Rest. It's been a long season. Played a lot of minutes this year. A lot of back to back. And just spend time with family, travel a little bit and get ready for next season.