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Golden Kings sweep Saitama to go 6-2

Date Posted: 2011-11-10

Being on the road is easy for the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who swept into Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture over the weekend, wreaking havoc and capturing another pair of Basketball Japan victories.

The wins against the Saitama Broncos pushes the 2008-2009 league champions to 6-2 on the season. The Golden Kings wasted no time Saturday hammering out a 96-75 victory behind the power shooting of Reggie Okosa and Naoto Kosuge, who each scored 17. Dzaflo Larkai and Narito Namizato weren’t far behind, with 14 points apiece, followed by Anthony McHenry with 13 points and 7 rebounds, and Jeff Newton with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Okinawa was strong from the outset, outrebounding the broncos 42-25 in the contest. The momentum continued Sunday, although John “Helicopter” Humphrey fired an impressive 14 field goals for Saitama en route to a squeaker 85-83 loss to Okinawa. Humphrey, a two-time league scoring champion with the Tokyo Apache, finished the afternoon with 40 points. Saitama falls to 3-5 on the year.

The Golden Kings won Sunday with Jeff Newton leading the scoring parade with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Reggie Okosa racked up 13, while Yasufumi Takushi popped in three 3-pointers as part of his 11 points. Dzaflo Larkai had 10 and both Narito Namizato and Naoto Kosuge each had nine as the Golden Kings took the game down to the wire. It was a Namizato jump shot that put Okinawa ahead 82-81, and the Golden Kings fended off a late Saitama rush. Okinawa coach Dai Oketani called the finish “a little to close for comfort.”

Okinawa remains on the road this weekend, taking on the 2-6 Miyazaki Shining Sunds. Both games will be shown by BJTV via the internet. Okinawa returns home to Naha City Gym on November 19th and 20th for a series against the Shiga Lake Stars. Game times are 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at Kadena ITT, MCCS Tours Plus and Family Mart.

Elsewhere in BJ League action, the Shining Suns picked up both of their season victories against the Takamatsu Five Arrows, winning 85-66 and 100-77. The defending league champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix swept the Yokohama B-Corsairs, 82-67 and 74-72. The struggling Phoenix are now 3-4 on the young season.

The Fukuoka Rizing swept a pair of its own, defeating the Oita HeatDevils 92-79 and 92-79 to improve to 4-4 on the year. The Sendai 89ers picked up a pair of victories over the expansion Shinshu Brave Warriors 87-85 and 88-72. The Osaka Evessa made it two in a row over the Kyoto Hannaryz, 85-82 and 78-62 to claim, for the moment, the Western Conference’s best record at 6-1, having played one more game than Okinawa. The Shimane Susanoo Magic split its series with the Shiga Lakestars, winning Saturday 103-77, only to fall Sunday 83-69. Rounding out league action, the Northern Happinets, the leading team in the Eastern Conference, outdid the Chiba Jets, 75-62 on Saturday, then slipped with a 65-54 loss on Sunday.

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