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Golden Kings sweep series with HeatDevils

Date Posted: 2009-04-24

The Ryukyu Golden Kings continue their winning ways, ripping a pair of wins from the hapless Oita HeatDevils in the next-to-last weekend of the regular Basketball League Japan season.

Okinawa stretched its record to 39-11 with an 82-71 win on Saturday and an easy 94-72 victory on Sunday. As the Golden Kings used the two-game series as a warm up for the playoffs that begin in early May, teammates took turns aiming at the basket. Chris Ayerís 22-point Saturday outing was tops, with Shigeyuki Kinjo firing another 14. On Sunday it was Tateto Aoki scoring a season-high 18, while Brian Simpson contributed 16 points plus 14 rebounds, Naoto Takushi dropped in 15, and forward Anthony McHenry added 11 more. The losses drop Oita to 8-42.

The #2 team in the Eastern Conference, the Tokyo Apache, zeroed in on the Sendai 89ers on Saturday, picking up a 103-83 victory, only to fall 82-71 on Sunday. Tokyo is now 31-19, while Sendai is 29-21. Sendaiís the #3 ranked team in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, the #2 squad in the Western Conference, the Osaka Evessa, swept a two-game series from the Takamatsu Five Arrows, winning at home 109-82 and 88-83. Osakaís now 33-17, drawing on the skills of two-time MVP Lynn Washington, who scored 35 points Saturday and 28 on Sunday. Itís not over for the Five Arrows, who cling to the #3 position in the Western Conference with a 32-18 season record and a shot at the final playoff berth.

Elsewhere, Fukuoka picked up a 74-67 road win Saturday, only to fall 97-64 on Sunday. The Eastern Conference leader, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix whipped out a pair of wins over the Saitama Broncos, 87-84 and 92-18. The Phoenix now hold a 34-16 record. The Niigata Albirex BB picked up the tempo Sunday, rallying from a Saturday 88-85 home loss to the lowly Toyama Grouses for a 101-82 series finale. Toyama falls to 11-39, while the Albirex BB moved up to 24-26.

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