Matthew Aquino and the Shinshu Brave Warriors on Wednesday night progressed to the quarterfinals of the Emperor's Cup after a 78-69 triumph over Seahorses Mikawa at the Wing Arena Kariya.
However, it was the end of the road for Dwight Ramos and the Toyama Grouses, who lost, 70-58, to the Kawasaki Brave Thunders at the Kawasaki City Todoroki Arena.
Aquino, who recently got a call-up to the Japanese national men's basketball team, did not see action for Shinshu against Mikawa.
It was American import Josh Hawkinson who powered the Brave Warriors to the win, as he put up 31 points and nine rebounds while Reio Maeda added 17 points and six boards.
Shinshu set the tone of the game by outscoring Mikawa, 23-11, in the opening period, but needed a strong finishing kick after the Seahorses roared back in the third frame to cut the deficit to three points, 53-50.
Mikawa got to within one point, 52-53, early in the fourth quarter, before Hawkinson and Ko Kumagai conspired to help Shinshu pull away again.
Mikawa last threatened with 2:35 left when Ryosuke Tsunono scored to make it a three-point game, 63-66. But Hawkinson sparked a 12-6 run to finish the game for Shinshu, allowing them to advance in the tournament.
Tsunono led Mikawa with 17 points.
Meanwhile, a 25-point, 23-rebound effort from Bryce Johnson was not enough to keep Toyama in the tournament as they squandered a good start against the Brave Thunders.
Toyama led, 22-19, after the first quarter, but went ice cold in the second frame where they were outscored, 21-6, by Kawasaki.
The Grouses never recovered from that cold spell and bowed out in the fourth round of the tournament. As a team, they shot just 4-of-25 from beyond the arc.
Dwight Ramos scored eight points and had five rebounds in the losing effort.
The Emperor's Cup resumes with its quarterfinals on January 5, with Aquino and the Brave Warriors taking on the Ryukyu Golden Kings. The Golden Kings advanced after a 101-69 rout of the Akita Northern Happinets, also on Wednesday night.