Golden Kings split weekend with western rival Fukuoka

The defending Basketball Japan League champion Ryukyu Golden Kings found out what it’s like to be on the losing end of a road game against its Western Conference rival over the weekend, losing a 65-64 squeaker.

In Fukuoka, Josh Peppers did what he does best to guide the host Fukuoka Rizing to a victory over the defending champions, scoring 21 points while going 50% from the field and hauling down seven rebounds and snatching three steals.  Fukuoka is nip-and-tuck with the Western Conference-leading Golden Kings, trailing by only a handful of games.

Anthony McHenry led the Okinawa losing effort, scoring 10 points while picking up ten rebounds.  Narito Namizato scored 15, while Terrance Woodbury and Naoto Kosuge each tallied nine points.  The Golden Kings field percentages were below average, going 23-for-68.

Sunday was a totally different matter for the visiting Golden Kings squad.  They didn’t look back as they dominated the Fukuoka hardwoods, stunning the home crowd by taking a 76-68 win.  The victory pushes Okinawa to 36-10, leaders of the Western pack.  Fukuoka trails with a 31-17 record as the season moves to its final month before playoffs in May.