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Golden Kings Split with Albirex BB

Date Posted: 2012-03-15

The Ryukyu Golden Kings, who’ve already secured a playoffs spot in the Basketball Japan League and are battling for home court advantage, found themselves against a tough Niigata Albirex BB squad that forced a series split.

The Golden Kings fell 76-64 in Saturday’s action on the road, with the Albirex outscoring Okinawa 21-7 in the crucial third period. Narito Namizato scored a team-high 17 for the Golden Kings, but faltered with only two points in the second half. Sunday was a brighter day for Okinawa, rallying for 30 points in the final stanza to slip away with an 89-79 win. Anthony McHenry popped in 20 points while hauling down 11 rebounds and making five steals, while Dillion Sneed scored 14 and had a dozen rebounds.

Okinawa holds the league’s best record, 32-8, with a dozen games left in the regular season. The Albirex BB are still in the hunt for a playoff berth with a 22-18 record.

Elsewhere, the Sendai 89ers were in action over the weekend, splitting court chores with commemorations marking the first anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The 24-13 Rizing Fukuoka were red hot in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, scoring 31 points en route to a 67-59 win at home. Shortly before Sunday’s earthquake anniversary memorials, Sendai bounced back with a 73-65 win. The 19-19 89ers are in fifth place in their conference, while Rizing Fukuoka improved to 25-13. The 89ers season ended early last year because of the earthquake, which centered near Sendai.

The Osaka Evessa also found themselves sharing the win-loss tallies over the weekend, outdistancing the Iwate Big Bulls on the road Saturday, 84-74, only to lose a heartbreaker, 65-63, on Sunday. The Chiba Jets and the Saitama Broncos also split their series, the Broncos winning 81-71, and losing 81-69 on Sunday. On the other hand, it was all in the win column for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, who upped their record to 27-17 in the Eastern Conference with a pair of wins, 77-70 and 93-83, over the Toyama Grouses.

The Shiga Lakestars likewise were two-time weekend winners, outdistancing the Akita Northern Happinets 86-78 and 79-74. The 23-17 Happinets and the 23-15 Lakestars are still in competition for playoff berths. The Shimane Susanoo Magic and the Miyazaki Shining Suns split, with the Magic winning 86-72, then falling Sunday, 80-71. The Magic are now 22-19, while Miyazaki is 18-22. The league’s worst team, the Takamatsu Five Arrows, still couldn’t buy a basket or a win, losing another pair over the weekend to the Oita HeatDevils. The 16-24 HeatDevils blasted the Five Arrows 94-68 and 88-63, relegating Takamatsu to a 2-36 record.

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