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Golden Kings split series in Nago

Date Posted: 2012-03-21

The Ryukyu Golden Kings, a playoffs berth already secured, continued their quest for home court advantage next month, but couldn’t maintain enough momentum to sweep the visiting Miyazaki Shining Suns, winning one and losing the second match.

Playing in Nago, the Golden Kings trounced Miyazaki 87-67 in a Saturday game, with seven players in double-digits. Dzaflo Larki headed the shooting competition with 18 points, going 7-for-10, while teammate Jeff Newton had 12. Dilliion Sneed and Naoto Kosuge each had 11, while David Palmer and Anthony McHenry scored 10. McHenry, a product of Georgia Tech, hauled in a team-high 11 rebounds in front of the home crowd of 2,423.

Sunday wasn’t so good, being held to 5-for-22 in the three-point range, enough for the Shining Suns to eke out a 79-76 win over Okinawa. The Golden Kings still hold the league’s best record, 33-9.

The Osaka Evessa ended a troubling week that had star Lynn Washington arrested on drug smuggling charges with a strong win over the Shimane Susanoo Magic. Playing without Washington, the Western Division 2nd place squad won 83-76 in their first encounter at the Sumiyoshi Sports Center. Some 20 hours later, they did it again, improving to 28-12 record with a nearly identical score, 85-76.

On the other end of the scale, the league’s worst team, the Takamatsu Five Arrows, continued their dismal season, logging their 13th straight loss, and are now 2-38. The aggressor this time was the high flying Rizing Fukuoka,, who did in the Five Arrows 79-76 on Saturday, then tearing the Takamatsu team apart 109-64 on Sunday. The wins give Rizing Fukuoka a 26-14 record.

The Albirex BB improved to 24-18 over the weekend with a pair of wins over the Saitama Broncos, 103-81 and 102-87. Niigata remains in playoff contention while Saitama drops to 11-29.

Meanwhile, the reigning two-time league champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix showed plenty of class as they thumped the Chiba Jets 83-72 and 100-86. The Phoenix are now the first Eastern Conference squad to clinch a playoffs berth. The Sendai 89ers split a series with the Shiga Lakestars, rallying for a Sunday 87-73 victory after losing 80-61 on Saturday. Shiga’s now 24-16 as the playoffs inch closer.

The Yokohama B-Corsairs needed overtime to get the job done, but outdid the Toyama Grouses 86-78 Saturday, then kept the momentum for an 82-64 win over the Grouses Sunday. The Corsairs now are 22020, while Toyama is 21-19. The Akita Northern Happinets had an east weekend, scoring almost at will over the Shinshu Brave Warriors, winning 83-64 and 96-63. The Happinets are still in the race for the playoffs with a 25-17 season record. The Kyoto Hannaryz thought they’d have an easy weekend as they beat the Big Bulls 78-69 in front of the home fans, but the Iwate Big Bulls weren’t ready to fold. The Big Bulls pushed the Sunday contest to overtime before winning 79-73. The Hannaryz are 26-14, and still a favorite to make the playoffs.

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