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Hannaryz pours water on Okinawa weekend

Date Posted: 2010-01-28

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf absolutely, positively ruined the weekend for the Ryukyu Golden Kings, defending champions of the Basketball Japan League.

Twice the 40-year-old former NBA player did a number on Okinawa, the Western Conference leaders. Coming off the bench after a nine-game injury absence, Abdul-Rauf Saturday scored 12 points in 20 minutes of play en route to a punishing 93-76 win for the Kyoto Hannaryz. His teammate, Josh Bostic, tallied 27 points and six rebounds plus four assists and four steals, but it was Abdul-Rauf that was the sparkplug.

Only 24 hours later, he was doing it again, scoring the winning basket for the expansion Hannaryz team with only five seconds left in regulation play. Abdul-Rauf again shared the spotlight with Bostic, who Sunday scored 23 points in the squeaky 68-66 win. The weekend sweep gave Kyoto a big push as they improved to 11-15. The Golden Kings hang on to their conference lead, but fell to 19-9.

Elsewhere, the Shiga Lakestars punished the Takamatsu Five Arrows for two consecutive days, first picking up a 90-70 road win, then following up Sunday with a 97-63 victory. The Lakestars are now even at 15-15 on the year, while the Five Arrows drop to 8-20. Seven Lakestars scored seven or more points in Sunday’s rout, including Michael Gardener with 21 and Waki Williams with 12.

The hapless Tokyo Apache eeked out a 75-73 win over the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix on a neutral court in Ashaikawa, Hokkaido Saturday, only to find themselves victimized once more on Sunday, 86-56. The Phoenix now hold the best record in the B-J league, 21-5, as they lead the Eastern Conference. The Apache now stand 7-17.

The Oita HeatDevils worked themselves a series split in a weekend road series, losing to the Osaka Evessa 92-61, then bouncing back for a 93-86 win. Syracuse University alum Ryan Blackwell scored 26 for the Evessa Saturday, while Mike Bell topped the scoring column for Oita Sunday with 27 points. The evenly-matched squads are in the middle of the pack; Osaka is now 12-14, while the HeatDevils stand at 12-16.

The Niigata Albirex BB racked up a pair of home court wins over the Toyama Grouses over the weekend. Niigatat won 80-64 Saturday, then rolled to an 86-56 victory a day later. The Albirex BB are now 13-13, while the Grouses are 10-14.

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