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Golden Kings split home series against Niigata

Date Posted: 2010-02-24

Despite having a pair of top players sidelined by injuries, the Ryukyu Golden Kings continued to hold their position atop the Basketball Japan League Western Conference with a split series against the Niigata Albirex.

The Golden Kings bounced back Sunday with a 93-78 win behind the power shooting of guard Yosuke Sugawara after losing Saturday, 94-81. “We lost because of our weak rebounding game,” said Golden Kings head coach Dai Oketani as he looked back on the Saturday contest. “We will try so hard to not have rebounds stolen tomorrow, and we plan to continue playing hard.”

Niigata’s head coach, Masaya Hirose, agreed that his team’s rebounding was big. “We were able to win by dominating the rebounds, and I think that the match was very interesting.”

Okinawa has been playing without the services of Jeff Newton, out with a shoulder injury, and Shigeyuki Kinjo, who’s sidelined with a knee injury. On Sunday, Sugawara and teammate George Leach were instrumental in the home court victory at Uruma City Sports Hall in Gushikawa. Leach hauled in 14 rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocks to extend the team’s lead to 22-12. Niigata remains above the .500 point with a 17-15 record.

Elsewhere in the BJ League, The Kyoto Hannaryz split a series with the Rizing Fukuoka, winning Sunday on the road, 85-788. The Hannaryz now improved to 12-18, saw Josh Bostic pacing the squad with 25 points.

Mike Bell’s 22-point scoring spree, coupled with 21-point outings by Ricky Woods and Matt Lottich Sunday led the Oita HeatDevils to an 89-75 trashing of the Takamatsu Five Arrows. Oita is now 15-19, while the Five Arrows fall to 10-22.
The Toyama Grouses extended their losing streak over the weekend to four consecutive games with a pair of losses to the Sendai 89ers. Sunday’s 76-62 loss to the 89ers pushed the Grouses to 12-18, while the 89ers’ victories sent them inching closer to the Golden Kings as they improved to 20-12.

The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix needed overtime Sunday to defeat the Saitama Broncos and stretch their Eastern Conference lead to 26-6, the best record in the league. The Phoenix launched the game with six straight points en route to their 81-77 victory. Saitama is now11-19 after losing the pair to the Phoenix.

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