BJL Champion Golden Kings opening at home
Okinawa’s professional basketball Golden Kings are ready to defend their championship while showing off to Japan’s rival basketball conference in a pair of home games this coming week.
The Golden Kings face the Toyota ALVARK, a team with the National Basketball League of Japan. Toyota comes into Okinawa for two games at Okinawa City Gymnasium September 3rd and 5th. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. tip-offs both days. Tickets are available at Okinawa FamilyMarts, AEON Shopping Centers and Sports Depo.
A good many basketball pundits will be watching the match-up between the Golden Kings and Toyota, as the Basketball Japan League and National Basketball League have been exchanging talk of a merger. It’s nowhere near, though, as both leagues have concerns on having one big association spanning Japan. However, the competitiveness of both the Golden Kings and ALVARK has people thinking positive about co-mingling the leagues.
There are a lot of players who play as the national team Japan in Toyota, but young generation players like Basketball Japan League stars Ryuichi Kishimoto, who won the MVP title last season. For a lot of spectators, this match is not only the season opener, but it’s the brand new face of the Kings as a new team with new members.
Fresh on the heels of the home openers, the Golden Kings head for Tokyo for a pre-season game at Tokyo Ota Sougou Gymnasium on the 13th. What makes it unique is that although on the road, it’s being billed as an Okinawa home game. Okinawa faces their chief rival, the Akita Northern Happinets, the same matchup as the BJL Championship last spring that Okinawa won. Doors open at 4 p.m. for the 6 p.m. game on the 13th. A lot of Basketball Japan League fans like the Golden Kings, and with many Uchinanchu living in Tokyo, the notion of a home game in Tokyo fits. Golden Kings team management jumped at the idea, and say they’ll play more ‘home’ games on the mainland if there’s enough interest.