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Golden Kings earn bye as BJL playoffs begin

Date Posted: 2012-05-04

It pays to have the best record in the Basketball Japan League; it entitles you to a bye in the opening round of the league’s playoffs that begin this weekend.

Okinawa, which won the league’s Western Conference Championship for a second straight year, finished the regular season 39-13. That’s the best record in the entire league, outdistancing foes in both Eastern and Western Conferences.

Third place Akita plays host to sixth-place Sendai Saturday and Sunday, while fourth-place Niigata takes on fifth-place Toyama in the Eastern Division. Also in the East, first-place Hamamatsu, which also has a first round bye, meets the lower-seeded winner on May 12th and 13th. Second-place Yokohama faces a higher-seeded advancing club May 10th and 11th.

In the Western Conference, third=ranked Kyoto takes on sixth-place Shimane May 5th and 6th, while fourth-place Shiga meets fifth-place Fukuoka Saturday and Sunday. Okinawa goes into action May 12th and 13th, taking on the lower of two advancing seeds. Osaka must go up against the higher-seeded first round playoff winner.

The Final Four takes place at Tokyo’s Ariake Colosseum on May 19th and 20th.

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