Phoenix are HOT! Ryukyu Golden Kings are NOT!

Kings’ Terrance Woodbury is trying to face down Susanoo Magic’s Machael Parker in Sunday’s game that the Kings lost 66-78.

After a red hot 15-game win streak to start the season, the Ryukyu Golden Kings can’t seem to buy a basket, even at JUSCO, but their new division rival, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, are turning on the steam to pick up a seventh straight win.

Okinawa fans nearly went into cardiac arrest last weekend as the Susanoo Magic came to town and pounded out a pair of wins, 73-68 on Saturday and 78-66 on Sunday.  The sweep came on top of the season’s first loss a week ago at the hands of the Rizing Fukuoka.  The team’s this week licking its wounds and preparing for a tough weekend as they take on the Phoenix, who are nipping at their

Naoto Kosuge aims at Susanoo Magic’s hoop.

heels.

The Phoenix, who switched from the Eastern Division, where they’ve taken two league championships, to the Western Division, where the Golden Kings have done likewise and are reigning champions.  The mainland powerhouse has now ripped off five straight victories, including last weekend 82-72 win over the cellar-dwelling Osaka Evessa.  Hamamatsu is now 15-7, now in second place, and challenging Okinawa for Western Conference supremacy.

The Golden Kings found the Shimane

Dzaflo Larkai battles 216 cm-tall Jeral Davis of Susanoo Magic.

Susanoo Magic formidable, calling on their big guy, Jeral Davis, to grab 22 points and 12 rebounds Saturday, and then asked teammate Wendall White to score 24 to defeat Okinawa.  Terrance ‘Woodbury had 25 for Okinawa on Saturday, while Dzaaflo Larkai scored 16 and had 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.  The Golden Kings found it tough going without sparkplug Anthony McHenry, who was sidelined with an injury.

Elsewhere, the Gunma Crane Thunders finally did it; they took an 82-73 win from the visiting Tokyo Cinq Reves to achieve its first regular season home game victory.  To make it more enjoyable for the home fans, they did it again Sunday, completing the sweep with a squeaky 84-83 win.  Gunma’s now 4-26, while Tokyo is 7-11.  Fukuoka Rizing, the team that destroyed Okinawa’s undefeated season, continued its winning ways with a sweep of the Oita HeatDevils.  Saturday was a near rout en route to a 101-73 win, and Sunday was worse as the Rizing claimed a 104-59 win.  Rizing Fukuoka is now flying high at 13-7, while Oita drops to 9-11.

The Shiga Lakestars and the Kyoto Hannaryz split a series, with Shiga winning 70-68 before falling 86-56 on Sunday.  Shiga and Kyoto are both now 10-10.  It was a split for the Akita Northern Happinets and the Shinshu Brave Warriors, who are battling for bragging rights as the Eastern Conference.  The Northern Happinets took an 80-70 win on Saturday,, and then the Brave Warriors turned it around 24 hours later with an 83-72 victory.  The Happinets are now 11-7, while the Brave Warriors are 13-7.

It was a winning weekend for the Niigata Albirex BB, taking a  pair of games from the Chiba Jets, 83-62 and 74-70.  The wins move Niigata to 13-6, while the Jets slide to 8-10.  The Toyama Grouses rolled Saturday, upending the Saitama Broncos 94-86, then did it again Sunday, 106-79.  The pair of losses drop the cellar-dwelling Broncos to 2-14, while Toyama improves to 14-8 overall and 10-4 at home.

The Takamatsu Five Arrows found winning an easy thing on Saturday, upending the Miyazaki Shining Suns 102-84.  That didn’t please the 3-17 Shining Suns, who battled back Sunday to take an 84-82 victory.  Takamatsu is now 7-11 on the year.