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Golden Kings advance to BJL playoffs semi-finals

Date Posted: 2011-05-11

Make it three trips to the Final Four in three years for the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who advance to the May 21st match-up with the Osaka Evessa after dropping the Shiga Lakestars Sunday 100-87.

Playing at home in Ginowan, Okinawa saw five players scoring in double digits as they swept the two-game series. Carlos Dixon led Dai Oketani’s club with 22 points, David Palmer had 19, Anthony McHenry 17, Tsubasa Yonamine 16, and Naoto Kosuge 10 points. The team worked seamlessly to cover the absence of star forward Jeff Newton, who sat out both games because of an ankle injury.

Newton has 10 days to recuperate before the Golden Kings square off with the Osaka Evessa in the Western Conference Championship game. This will be the third time in as many years the two squads have met for the title. The game will be played in Tokyo’s Ariake Coliseum, with tip-off at 6:05 p.m.

Osaka worked its way into the conference championship by dropping Rising Fukuoka 85-74 in their two-game series. “We just believe in each other, says Evessa point guard Kenny Satterfield, who tallied 13 points coming off the bench, “and everybody got the job done.” The Evessa are being led by rookie coach Ryan Blackwell, who says he’s hoping to win a championship in his inaugural season.

In the Eastern Conference, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix also made their way to the championship game for a third straight year. The Basketball Japan League defending champions edged the Toyama Grouses in the semi-finals with a 73-62 win. The league MVP, Jeffrey Parmer, led the Phoenix, who went 40-6 in the regular season, with 18 points.

The Phoenix will face the Niigata Albirex BB in the Eastern Conference Championship game May 21st in an afternoon contest that begins at 2:05 p.m.

George Leach led the Albirex BB to an 84-76 semi-final victory by snatching 12 rebounds while scoring 19 points. Teammate Yuichi Ikeda scored 17 on the home court in Toyano in Niigata Prefecture. This is the Niigata squad’s second trip in a row to the conference championship.

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