MANILA, Philippines – The mighty Ryukyu Golden Kings continued their undisputed run atop the Japan B. League leaderboard as they cruised over the hapless San-En NeoPhoenix at home, 110-77, on Saturday, February 5.
With the win, the aptly-named Kings have now won 16 straight games for a stellar 26-3 record to lead the league and the West District. The defending champion Chiba Jets trail in second with a 21-6 slate to rule the East.
Longtime PBA import Allen Durham had an efficient 22-marker outing on a 9-of-12 clip in just 20 minutes for the Kings.
Thirdy Ravena and the NeoPhoenix, though, failed to shift their fortunes following the recent firing of head coach Branislav Vicentic, and have now dropped their seventh consecutive game for a 4-26 slate.
Ravena had another quiet finish in the blowout, as he tallied just 7 points, all in the first half, and 1 steal in under 23 minutes.
After a first-quarter shootout where they trailed, 21-26, the NeoPhoenix kept their five-point gap until the midway point of the the second, 36-41, off a Robert Carter jumper.
However, the Kings decided to put the game away before intermission as they fired off a 12-3 run to mount a 14-point lead, 53-39, in the waning seconds of the first half.
After an unproductive third quarter, the NeoPhoenix completely lost their flame by the final frame, as the Kings rode a 15-5 run, capped by a Durham dunk for a 25-point gap, 95-70.
Ryukyu again outscored San-En from that point, 15-7, as they peaked with a 33-point lead to set the final score.
No Kings player breached the 30-minute mark in the easy win as imports Jack Cooley and Dwayne Evans joined Durham on top with 25 and 24 points, respectively.
Carter led all scorers in another sorry loss with 32 markers, 4 steals, 3 boards, and 3 blocks on 12-of-19 shooting, while fellow reinforcement Elias Harris added 14 points.
Ravena and San-En have one more upset bid for the weekend as they meet Ryukyu in the Sunday, February 6 rematch at 5:05 pm, Manila time.
Ryukyu 110 – Cooley 25, Evans 24, Durham 22, Namizato 11, Flippin 8, Onodera 8, Maki 5, Imamura 4, Mitsuhara 2, Kotera 1.
San-En 77 – Carter 32, Harris 14, Ravena 7, Matsuwaki 5, Tsuyama 5, Tsuya 5, Tawatari 4, Ota 3, Yamauchi 2, Sugiura 0, Hanzawa 0.
Quarters: 26-21, 53-41, 80-65, 110-77.