Kings swipe Sendai 89ers in pair of road games

Shuhei Kitagawa was the engine that turned the game on Friday.

Shuhei Kitagawa with Lamont Hamilton was the engine that turned the game on Friday. (Photo Ryukyu Golden Kings)

Some smiles must have broken out on the faces of players and officials of the Ryukyu Golden Kings, as the team broke their row of four consecutive defeats in the road game series against Sendai 89ers, and swiped both matches last weekend.

Lamont Hamilton takes aim.

Lamont Hamilton takes aim. (Photo Ryukyu Golden Kings)

On Friday, the start did not look good as the Kings gave the lead to the hosts in the beginning, but Lamont Hamilton and Shuhei Kitagawa did well and engineered a comeback from behind by the end of the first quarter.

Sendai upped the ante and attacked harder in the 2nd quarter, mainly on the strength of their foreign players, but especially Hamilton did great work and kept a 2-point lead for the Kings at the end of the first half.

In the last half, the Kings’ offense exploded, and scored more than 30 points in the 3rd and 4th quarter each, and finally piled up 104 against 83 for Sendai.

Kings’ Head Coach Tsutomu Isa said after the game, “We were very careful playing this road game, as sometimes the court atmosphere controls the game so much. In the first half, the wave of the game was going and coming to each team, but in the last half, our players kept control more than Sendai, and that made our victory.”

Anthony McHenry is the true pillar of the Kings' team.

Anthony McHenry is the true pillar of the Kings’ team. (Photo Ryukyu Golden Kings)

On Saturday, the Kings beat the Sendai 89ers again, but the game was much poorer from the night before. The Kings missed most of their shots in the first half. Especially, in the beginning of the 2nd quarter, they could not score points during a period of more than 5 minutes. Luckily, Sendai did not do much better than the Kings were just two points behind at the end of the first half at 31-33.

In the 3rd quarter, the Kings geared up and finally managed to come from behind to the lead, but it was still very tough game and it ended 73-67.

Isa said although the game had not good substance but, “It was a big win for us because we finally grabbed a win, although it was a very tough game.”

After the match, Kings reclaimed the 4th place in the conference. This weekend they will face Tochigi Brex in a home game at Okinawa City Gym. Brex is called the current number one team in the B. League.


04:51 17 Apr , 2024