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Golden Kings face Rizing in playoffs after finishing 2nd

Date Posted: 2010-05-14

The Ryukyu Golden Kings wrapped up the regular Basketball Japan League regular season with a two-game sweep of the Oita HeatDevils, but it wasn’t enough to propel them into first place in the league’s Western Conference.

Okinawa finished in second place with a 33-19 record, a game behind the Osaka Evessa. It was nip-and-tuck through the final weeks, though, and the Golden Kings were psyched as they headed into the final series with the Oita HeatDevils. It was a team effort as the Golden Kings picked up an 85-73 road win on Saturday, then capped it Sunday with a 99-67 rout.

The playoffs are set to begin Saturday, with the Ryukyu Golden Kings taking on the third place finishing Rizing Fukuoka, while Western Conference champion Osaka meets fourth-place Shiga Lakestars in its first round matchup. In the Eastern Conference, top-seeded Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, with its 39-11 powerhouse record, takes on the fourth-seeded Tokyo Apache, while the second-seed Sendai 89ers take on the Niigata Albirex BB.

Osaka eked out a 98-97 win over Rizing Fukuoka on Saturday, then pulled another squeaker on Sunday, 81-79, in the regular season finale. The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix swept a pair, 103-93 and 92-70, at home against the Sendai 89ers. The Phoenix ended the year 5-2 against Sendai.

The Niigata Albirex BB split the final weekend with the Saitama Broncos, picking up an 83-67 win on Saturday, before falling 94-85 on Sunday. It was a lackluster season for the Broncos, who’ve finished out of the playoffs for five consecutive years. The Tokyo Apache rounded out the regular season with an 84-81 win over the Toyama Grouses.

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