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Golden Kings still in 1st after dropping pair to Apache

Date Posted: 2008-12-05

The Ryukyu Golden Kings fought hard, but couldn’t knock down the Tokyo Apache in a pair of weekend matches on the road.

Tokyo squeaked past Okinawa by only one point in an overtime thriller at Tokyo’s Ariake Colosseum Saturday, and beat the Golden Kings 86-80 on Sunday to reinforce its Basketball Japan League Eastern Conference top billing.

The Golden Kings, falling to 11-3 on the season, remain in first place in the league’s Western Division. “We earned two big wins this weekend against a very, very good team,” said Joe Bryant, the Apache coach, referring to the matchups against Okinawa.

Ryukyu Golden Kings coach Dai Oketani is pleased with his team’s performances. The first-year coach paid homage to the Tokyo Apache, while praising his squad. Chris Ayer racked up 27 points including five slam dunks, to lead Golden Kings scoring. Anthony McHenry’s three-point shooting kept the team competitive throughout the games, finishing with 25 points on Sunday.

Point guard Naoto Takushi had a frustrating weekend as the Apache’s backcourt defense boxed him up. He was held to two assists and six turnovers as Tokyo racked up nine steals away from the Golden Kings.

The Odessa Evessa bounced back from trouncing by the Tokyo Apache a week before, stripping a two-game series from the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix. The Toyama Grouses fell to the Oita Heat Devils, 66-62, on the strength of Jeffrey Price’s 31 points and 17 revounds.

The Saitama Broncos split a pair against the Shiga Lakestars, rallying for a Sunday win 83-69 after a rough Saturday. The Sendai 89ers picked up an easy victory over the Rizing Fukuoka, 95-81, as Bobby St. Preux scored a personal game-best 31 points while clearing 10 off the boards.

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