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Ryukyu Golden Kings continue winning ways

Date Posted: 2008-12-25

Okinawa’s Ryukyu Golden Kings remain atop the Japan Basketball League’s Western Division, racking up another victory as it maintains an 80% win ratio.

The latest road win was in Kyushu, on Rizing Fukuoka’s court. The Golden Kings slipped past Rizing 81-72 behind the arms of Chris Ayer with 26 points and Jeff Newton with 21. The pair was hot on the boards as well, with Ayer hauling down 19 rebounds and Newton 13. It was a thorough team effort though, as Okinawa scored its 16th win in the last 20 outings, with Anthony McHenry’s 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists propelling the Golden Kings to victory. Shigeyuki Kinjo tallied seven points, as did Yosuke Sugawara.

The Golden Kings took the first game in the weekend series 90-88 on Saturday, a squeaker that saw Rizing Fukuoka roar back in the final stanza, scoring 40 points but not enough for the win. The Rizing is now 8-12 on the season.

The East Division leaders, the Tokyo Apache, split a weekend pair with Niigata Albirex. Tokyo took the series opener, then fell Sunday, 83-72. The three-time defending champion Osaka Evessa won on home turf Sunday, a 100-89 thriller over the Shiga Lakestars that saw Nile Murry set a 33-point game high.

In other action, the Takamatsu Five Arrows boosted its record to 13-5 with an 81-74 win over the Oita HeatDevils, and Hamamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix pounded the Sendai 89ers 107-84. The Toyota Grouses were smiling Sunday night as they completed their first back-to-back wins of the year, outlasting the Saitama Broncos 78-69.

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