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JAPAN - B2 LEAGUE 🇯🇵
Demography: 126M (2020)
Spoken language: Japanese
Largest cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo
Regular-season schedule: October to April
How does the B2 League work?
The B2 League, which is the second division of basketball in Japan, functions much like the first division, the B1 League. The biggest difference is that it includes only 14 teams, which are also divided into two divisions: East and West. Just like in the first division, during the regular season, each team plays a 60-game schedule. But, unlike the first division, they are divided differently. In the second division, there are 42 games against teams from the same conference (6 games against each team) and 18 games against teams from the other conference (2 games against seven teams and 4 games against the remaining team).
The format of the playoff qualifiers and the playoff process is also the same as in the first division. The top three teams from each conference qualify, along with the next two teams with the best record, regardless of conference. The playoffs consist of quarterfinals, semifinals and the final, with a best-of-three format for each round.
Which teams have already won the B2 League?
It is worth noting that as a relatively new league (the first season was in 2016-2017), no team has won the Japanese second division twice. Like Gunma Crane Thunders, who won in 2020-2021, Nishinomiya Storks, Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka and Shinshu Brave Warriors have each won this B2 League once. A success that allowed them to advance to the next division the following season.