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Diouf superb in loss

The Takamatsu Five Arrows defeated the host Sendai 89ers 84-82 in bj-league action on Saturday. Mamadou Diouf, a Senegalese forward, scored 44 points in defeat and also pulled down 15 boards. Takamatsu’s Reggie Warren, Yu Okada and Rasheed Sparks all scored 16 points apiece for the Five Arrows, who improved to 19-12 and stayed three games behind first-place Osaka Evessa in the league standings.

Sparks, The Japan Times’ February Defensive Player of the Month, also had nine rebounds and seven assists on a night when the league’s road teams won all four games.

The Niigata Albirex BB topped the Oita HeatDevils 104-84. Naoto Kusuge scored 25 and made 6 of 8 3-point shots, Jack Hartman had 19 and Nick Davis 17 for the Albirex, while Andy Ellis led the HeatDevils with 31.

In a clash of Kanto squads, Gordon James scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Saitama Broncos to an 86-79 win over the Tokyo Apache. Kosuke Shimizu added 12 points for the Broncos (11-20), who are now in a three-way tie for last place with Tokyo and the Toyama Grouses. Kohei Aoki scored a team-best 24 points and Dameion Baker had 23 for the Apache.

Osaka defeated Toyama 76-61 as five players scored in double figures: David Palmer (15), Matt Lottich (14), Jeff Newton (13 to go along with 19 boards), Lynn Washington (11) and Masashi Joho (10). For the Grouses, Nile Murry scored 16 in defeat.