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Golden Kings continue to achieve 'firsts'

Date Posted: 2012-01-27

The Ryukyu Golden Kings are the first team this season to win 20 games, outscoring the Shiga Lakestars in the first outing of their two-game series.

Okinawa’s professional basketball team was the first ever in the prefecture, starting in 2007, and the Golden Kings were the first other than the Osaka Evessa to ever with a Basketball Japan League title. This weekend they outscored the Lakestars 84-81 in Yasu, Shiga Prefecture, running their record to 20-5 with a seven-game win streak. Anthony McHenry led the Kings with 17, while Dillion Sneed popped in 16 in his season debut as center, and Naoto Kosuge tallied 15.

By an identical score, 84-81, Shiga turned the tables on Okinawa Sunday, extending its record to 17-9 on the season. Okinawa is still 13-3 on the road, best in the league, and Naoto Kosuge picked up 5 of 10 three-pointers in the loss. Anthony McHenry scored 15, Jeff Newton 12 and David Palmer 11.

Elsewhere in the league, The 7-19 Oita HeatDevils edged the Osaka Evessa twice, surprising the Western Conference powerhouse 92-82 and 63-62. Osaka is now 17-7 and third behind the Ryukyu Golden Kings. The Niigata Albirex BB split a series with the Yokohama B-Corsairs, winning 94-78 Saturday, only to fall 95-75 on Sunday. The first-year B-Corsairs are 12-14, while the Albirex BB are 16-10.

The reigning league champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix swept a pair from the Iwate Big Bulls, 80-64 and 80-65, extending their record to 16-10. Iwate is now 7-21. The Kyoto Hannaryz smacked the Takamatsu Five Arrows twice, 80-58 and 77-52, extending their record to18-6 and into second place in the Western Conference. Takamatsu is now 1-25.

The Toyama Grouses evened their record at 12-12 with a two-game sweep over the Sendai 89ers. The Grouses won 77-58 Saturday, then scratched out an 80-75 Sunday win behind the 34-point, six-rebound, five-assist, one-steal effort from Masashi Joho. The Fukuoka Rizing picked up a pair of squeaker victories over the Miyazaki Shining Suns, pulling off a 74-70 win Saturday and a 93-91 thriller Sunday to extend its record to 17-9.

The Susanoo Magic swept its series against the expansion Shinshu Brave Warriors. Shimane won 83-66 in the first match-up, then held on for an 81-80 win Sunday on the home court. Susanoo Magic is now 15-11, while the Brave Warriors are stymied at 11-15.

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