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Yonamine, Newton lead Golden Kings to twin victories

Date Posted: 2011-03-13

Ryukyu Golden Kings point guard Tsubasa Yonamine, together with Jeff Newton, the team’s top scorer, teamed up over the weekend to hammer the Rizing Fukuoka twice in their quest for another Basketball Japan League playoff birth.

Yonamine,one of the league’s most cerebral floor leaders, has dished out 35 assists in the past four games, including nine on Saturday when he scored 10 points, and All-Star Jeff Newton picked up 24 points and 15 rebounds as coach Dai Oketani's club defeated the visiting Rizing Fukuoka 106-95, then turned around Sunday to score 22 more points en route to a 92-79 win. Anthony McHenry’s 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Shigeyuki Kinjo’s 16 points Saturday, plus Carlos Dixon’s 20 points, Naoto Kosuge’s 16 and former league MVP David Palmer’s 12 Sunday provided the two victories pushing the Ryukyu Golden Kings to 24-14 on the season, while keeping the Okinawa squad tied with the Osaka Evessa for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Rizing slipped to 21-17 on the year, not quite out of playoff contention.

The Osaka Evessa, meanwhile, picked up a pair of wins of its own, outlasting the Susanoo Magic 75-65 and 83-64. The Evessa were led by Billy Knight’s 22 points Saturday and Lynn Washington’s game-high 28 points Sunday. The Evessa are tied with the Ryukyu Golden Kings 24-14, while Shimane, playing its first season in the league, drops to 17-20.

The high-flying Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, already settled in to a playoff berth by virtue of its best-in-the-league 33-4 record, outscored the Akita Northern Happinets 98-81 and 82-65. The Shiga Prefecture Lakestars likewise took a pair of weekend victories, dumping the Tokyo Apache 87-81 and 100-79. The wins boost the Lakestars record to 21-16, while Tokyo falls to 19-12.

The Sendai 89ers turned to Mac Hopson’s 19-point, seven-rebound, six-assist and three-steal show Saturday in defeating the Saitama Broncos 74-63, then did it again Sunday with Hopson sinking 14 of 16 foul shots, 12 of 14 in the fourth quarter, in a vintage 40-point, nine-assist afternoon to lead his team to a 95-86 victory and a two-game sweep at Kasukabe City Gymnasium. Sendai is now 24-12, while Saitama falls to 14-24.

The Kyoto Hannaryz outscored the Miyazaki Shining Suns 96-90 Saturday and 99-73 to continue winning ways in a pair of contests at Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture. The Hannaryz are now 20-18, while the Shining Suns drop to 12-26 after losing four consecutive games. The Albirex BB pounded the Toyama Grouses 86-61 in a Saturday contest in Toyama, only to lose Sunday in overtime, 82-79, to a fired up Grouses squad. The Albirex are now 19-17, while Toyama improved to 12-24.

The Heat Devils and the Takamatsu Five Arrow split a weekend series, with the 16-22 HeatDevils cruising to a 78-57 win, only to see Sundays match up go the way of the lowly Five Arrows, 82-77. The win boosts the Five Arrows to 9-29.

As a special present to our readers, we will raffle 10 tickets for two persons each to Ryukyu Golden Kings basketball home game on Mar. 26 vs. Toyama Grouses at Okinawa Prefecture Gym. To participate, go to JU couponhttp://www.japanupdate.com/coupon.htm For more information about Ryukyu Golden Kings, check the Golden Kings official web page at Golden Kings

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