Girald Gaston

When in need, call Yuki Togashi.

Togashi steered the Chiba Jets against the mighty Seoul SK Knights, 72-69, to complete a perfect run en route to East Asia Super League (EASL) Championship, Sunday night at jam-packed Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Photo Courtesy of Tiebreaker Times

The Japanese star delivered yet another masterful performance, scoring 22 points, dishing out seven assists, and making pivotal plays down the stretch to lead his BLeague squad to an unblemished 8-0 slate, marking their dominance in East Asia.

With his heroics for the past two games, the 5-foot-6 crowd favorite was crowned as the Final Four MVP, putting a show in front of Filipino fans in Cebu.

“This is my first time coming to this country. It’s amazing, the Philippine (Filipino) fans are amazing tonight,” the 30-year-old guard said.

American import John Mooney also showcased his versatility and formidable presence in the paint, tallying an all-around statline of 16 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists to help the Jets bag the $1 million EASL prize money.

In a tightly contested match with the Knights leading 57-56, Togashi's back-to-back layups were pivotal as they turned the tide in favor of the Jets, 60-57, prompting the Korean squad to call timeout with 6:01 remaining in the game.

Seoul SK’s Jameel Warney went on for a 5-0 personal run, but Togashi again replied with a crucial triple to regain the lead, with Mooney contributing big buckets downlow to create a 70-66 cushion with 1:18 remaining.

After calling a timeout, Knights drew up a perfect play to set up Youngjun An for a triple, 70-69, and the KBL team opted to play the foul game with 13 seconds left.

With the game on the line, Togashi calmly sank two free throws, 72-69, and Warney missed a top of the key three-pointer as the Jets went on to win the game.

Warney tallied an impressive 22 points and 17 rebounds double-double, and Korean sharpshooter Youngjun An added 19 points, but the duo’s offensive firepower fell short against the Jets.

With their sights set on dominating their respective mother leagues as EASL ends, Jets and Knights aim to make a comeback and showcase their prowess again in the next edition of this pocket tournament.