Golden Kings set new regular season record
On paper and on the hardwoods, the Ryukyu Golden Kings are the best team in the Basketball Japan League, and they proved it again in their season finale on the road in Osaka the last weekend in April.
The Golden Kings set a new league record by sweeping the Osaka Evessa, running their regular season record to 42-10 on the final day of the season. They broke their own record of 41-11, set in the 2008-2009 season when they were marching toward their first league championship. The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix matched that 41-11 record the following season.
It almost didn’t happen, but Narito Namizato’s 3-pointer just before the final buzzer in Osaka in the first of two games with the Evessa gave the Golden Kings a 58-57 win. Namizato, twice an All-Star guard, had been having a rough evening before putting the most important points on the scoreboard with one second left in the game.
Anthony McHenry tallied 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals for Okinawa, while Dzaflo Larkai added 13 points and 15 rebounds for Ryukyu, which had won six straight games.
Things were considerably brighter for the Golden Kings on the final day of the season, rolling to a 91-78 win to establish the new record. Anthony McHenry was again the big gun, going with 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while teammate Naoto Kosuge had 16 and Morihisa Yamauchi 15. Narito Namizato scored 16 and provided seven assists, while Dzaflo Larkai scored 11 and also had 11 rebounds.