The expansion of the Japanese Professional Basketball league to include a team from Nagano Prefecture has brought a new source of entertainment and interest to the region. The purple, black and white strip of the Shinshu Brave Warriors has excited crowds at “home” games in a range of cities in the prefecture, including Chikuma, Matsumoto and Ina. Their schedule shows that in the second half of the season they will also appear in Okaya, Nagano, and Saku. Last weekend’s game at the Togura General Gymnasium in Chikuma City (locally known as “The Cauldron”) found the Brave Warriors 20 points short of the Niigata team on Saturday night. However, on Sunday afternoon, before a packed crowd, they turned the tables and ran out winners by 3 points in a cliffhanger. After the game, US import and former Pittsburgh State star Ed Morris said of the crowd “We really appreciate you guys. Showing your support means a lot for us.” Below is a shot of Ed dropping one in from the free throw line early in Sunday’s game.
When the final siren sounded, the crowd erupted, and the Shinshu Brave Warriors congratulated each other with chest bumps and general jumping around:
The Brave Warriors next home games are in Okaya City on 24-25 December against Yokohama. It will surely be the beginning of their run from their current mid-table position to the top of the standings.Why not pay a visit to Nagano and join in the fun?