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Golden Kings split series with Tokyo

Date Posted: 2011-03-04

The Tokyo Apache stretched a win streak to five games Saturday as the visitors outplayed the Ryukyu Golden Kings in Naha, but Okinawa took the loss in stride, bouncing back for pick up a series split on Sunday.
It took getting midway through the second half of the Basketball Japan League season before the two contenders squared off. The Apache took Saturdayユs contest 92-84 in front of the Okinawa hometown fans, but the Golden Kings fired back for a near-identical 92-85 win of its own Sunday afternoon behind the 17-point scoring effort and seven rebounds by Anthony McHenry and Jeff Newtonユs 14 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.
Both Ryukyu with its 22-14 record, and the Apache, with a 19-11 mark, remain in contention for the Western Conference title, or at the least, a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, the defending champion Hamamatsu Higashi-mikawa Phoenix clinched a playoff berth of their own during the 36th game of the season, hammering the Miyazaki Shining Suns 110-83 Saturday and then humiliating the Shining Suns 104-64 Sunday. The Phoenix are now 32-4, having beaten up on every team in the Basketball Japan League except the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who theyユve not yet faced.
The Toyama Grouses and Shiga Lakestars split their series in Toyama, with the Grouses eeking out a one-point victory 82-81, only to lose another squeaker Sunday, 74-72. The Grouses, who at 11-23 are not viewed as title contenders, nonetheless gave the playoffs contender Lakestars, 20-16, a run for their money. The Susanoo Magic swept its series with the Oita HeatDevils, 71-66 and 62-54. With the Magic now 17-19 and the HeatDevils 15-21, the teams are playing more for fun than titles.
The Sendai 89ers stayed in the playoff hunt during the weekend despite a series split against the Kyoto Hannaryz. The 89ers lost 87-79 Saturday, then rebounded 80-73 Sunday to boost its record to 22-12, while Kyoto evens the season at 18-18. The Albirex BB, playing in Toyano, Niigata Prefecture, also kept visions of a playoff berth alive with a series sweep over the Saitama Broncos. The Albirex BB won the first game 70-61, then capped the ball rolling with an 84-81 to improve to 18-16. Saitama slips to 14-22.
The Fukuoka Rizing pleased the home court fans with a series sweep over the Takamatsu Five Arrow, who fell to a dismal 8-28 record with the two losses. Fukuoka improved to 21-15 after winning 94-69 and 105-77. The Osaka Evessa are still positioning for a playoff slot, splitting a series with the Akita Happinets. Osaka won 85-74 Saturday, but a fired-up Happinets squad bounced back for a 72-66 win. Osakaユs now 22-14 while the Happinets slide back to 11-25.

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