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Golden Kings split centers on defense

Date Posted: 2010-11-11

Okinawa’s professional basketball Ryukyu Golden Kings looked like the championship contenders of a season ago over the weekend, first hammering the Oita HeatDevils 93-76, then losing a defensive struggle a day later, 61-58.

A fast-paced offense combined with strong defensive maneuvers by Abdullahi Kuso and Carlos Dixon made Saturday’s match-up nearly all Okinawa. Head Coach Dai Oketani says “it was a scramble when we returned dunks, and it was necessary to use a zone defense to make our baskets count.” Shigeyuki Kinjo led Okinawa’s charge in the winning cause. Less than 24 hours later, momentum shifted just enough to let Oita’s Rolando Howell haul in a dozen rebounds to slip past Okinawa.

The Golden Kings are now even at 4-4 on the season, the same as the HeatDevils.

Elsewhere in Basketball Japan League action, the Saitama Broncos squeaked past the Tokyo Apache 79-78, only to get thumped a day later, 91-83 as teenage forward Jeremy Tyler rolled up a 27-point game for Tokyo to earn a split. Another split went down in Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture, as the Niigata Albirex BB took a 70-69 thriller from the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix on a Saturday game, but being drubbed 82-64 on Sunday.

The Shiga Lakestars likewise divided the two-game series, winning 84-81 on Sunday after being on the losing end, 72-76 a day earlier. The Susanoo Magic outshined the Shining Suns 88-78 in the first of a two-game series, then making it a pair, 81-69, on Sunday. The two expansion teams were planning in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture.

The Toyama Grouses shared the spotlight with the Northern Happinets, winning Saturday, 79-66 in the first of a two-match series, only to fall, 85-76, on Sunday. The league leading Osaka Evessa moved to 7-1 with a win over the Kyoto Hanaryz, 96-83 and 90-77. The Rizing Fukkuoka thumped the Takamatsu Fie Arrows, 102-73 in Sunday’s action, which saw Fukuoka forward Michael Parking scoring a league-record 53 points while pulling down 16 rebounds.

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