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Golden Kings win in championship rematches

Date Posted: 2009-12-24

The Ryukyu Golden Kings are proving why they’re the Basketball Japan League Champions, rolling into Tokyo for a rematch with their Spring competitors for the championship, then demonstrating finesse and power as they swept both contests.

The first rematch started slow against the Tokyo Apache, then picked up steam as Jeff Newton, Okinawa’s superstar center, racked up 16 points, 14 rebounds and five assists en route to a 75-70 victory. He was backed by George Leach with 15, Bryan Simpson 14, and Anthony McHenry 13 points at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2 in Tokyo last Wednesday night.

It happened again Thursday even more dramatically as the Apache blew a 25-point lead as they were pressured by the Golden Kings, sliding to a sixth straight loss, 70-65. The losses to Okinawa dropped Tokyo to 5-13, while the Golden Kings expanded their Western Conference record to 15-3.

Elsewhere in the B-J League, the Niigata Albirex BB have ripped off six straight wins, the latest coming against the Takamatsu Five Arrows, 84-74 and 100-83. The wins push the Albirex BB to 8-8, while the Five Arrows are 7-15. Niigata has now won eight of their last 16 games. Paul Butorac scored 25 points and hauled in 15 rebounds for the victorious Albirex.

The Toyama Grouses hammered the Saitama Broncos 100-90 on Saturday, only to fall 83-77 at Gyoda Green Arena on Sunday. Toyama slides to 8-8 on the year, while Saitama boosted its record to 8-10. The struggling Osaka Evessa found their way into the winner’s circle Sunday after falling to the Sendai 89ers 78-69 on Saturday. The hometown fans saw Osaka score an 82-75 win Sunday behind the 21-point shooting of Nile Murry. Osaka is now 9-11, while the 89ers improved to 12-8.

The Shiga Lakestars went 2-for-2 over the weekend, squeaking out an 82-80 home court win over the Kyoto Hannaryz Saturday, then pressed harder on Sunday to win 76-57. Five Lakestar players scored in double figures as they improved to 11-11, while Kyoto falls to 5-13. In Kyushu, it was also a weekend sweep, with the Rizing Fukuoka thumping the Oita HeatDevils 91-76 in the first matchup, then hanging on in Sunday overtime for a 76-75 road win. Rizing Fukuoka is now 14-8, while the HeatDevils are 7-13.

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