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Golden Kings split yet another series

Date Posted: 2010-04-01

The Ryukyu Golden Kings are maintaining their Western Conference Basketball Japan League lead, but also are maintaining the uncanny ability to split each weekend series, this time-sharing the victory podium with the Oita HeatDevils.

Okinawa picked up an 82-73 home court win against the HeatDevils Saturday, with head coach Dai Oketani praising his team’s “good defense in the second half, as each individual played his roles, and Kevin Steenberge and Yosuke Sugawara performing well.” Oita’s head coach gave credit to Okinawa’s rebounding, noting “the rebounds in the last series were the cause of our defeat.”

The HeatDevils head coach, Brian Rowsom, motivated his squad Sunday, bouncing back to pick up a 78-71 win over the Ryukyu Golden Kings, the 2008-2009 league champions. Okinawa, now 27-15, remains ahead of Fukuoka in the Western Conference.

Elsewhere, the Saitama Broncos fell 73-53 to the Niigata Albirex BB Sunday, scoring only six points in the second quarter and nine in the fourth as the squad registered its sixth straight loss, falling to 13-27. The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix rolled to an 84-76 win Sunday over the hometown Toyama Grouses. The Phoenix, the Eastern Conference leader, is 32-8 on the season, while the Grouses fell to 14-26 in its fifth straight loss.

Rizing Fukuoka scored a weekend home series sweep, sliding past the Kyoto Hannaryz 75-65 on Sunday. Fukuoka, 26-16, trails Okinawa by a single game as the two teams battle for first place in the Western Conference. The Osaka Evessa pushed their win string to six games with a Sunday 91-89 victory over the Takamatsu Five Arrows. Osaka’s now 24-16, while the Five Arrows are out of playoffs contention at 11-31.

The Sendai 89ers saw their 10-game win streak snapped over the weekend by the lowly Tokyo Apache. Sendai, 27-13, lost 79-75 to the Apache, who boosted their win-loss record to 15-25.

Okinawa meets the Shiga Lake Stars this weekend, on the road at Yasu City Gym.

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