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Pomare, Hamilton nab monthly honors

by Ed Odeven

Here’s how Gyno Pomare can sum up his first month in the bj-league: Seven games, seven double-doubles, seven memorable experiences.

The Sendai 89ers frontcourt standout, one of the league’s youngest players, averaged a team-best 18.6 points per game in October. The 89ers ended the month with a 6-1 record.

Pomare is The Japan Times’ Offensive Player of the Month for October.

He did his job with an old-school approach to the game, not attempting a 3-pointer and not making a slam dunk. Instead, the 23-year-old’s explosiveness and fine shooting touch paid off with 60 baskets out of 103 field-goal attempts in the season’s opening month.

In the 89ers’ share-the-wealth offense, the ex-University of San Diego player gets plenty of shots, and he’s shown a strong ability to finish the job when he’s given a chance to score.

He’s also adept at creating second-chance scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates, as evidenced by his 31 offensive rebounds in October.

Defensive winner: Shiga Lakestars power forward Gary Hamilton is The Japan Times’ Defensive Player of the Month for October.

Helping the second-year franchise win seven of nine games in the season’s first month, Hamilton played a pivotal role on defense.

The University of Miami (Fla.) product made his presence felt under the basket, in the passing lanes and all over the floor. His court awareness, relentless pursuit of the ball and impeccable instincts led to 21 steals during October, a high figure for a player at his position.

He had six games with two or more steals, and ended the month with back-to-back four-steal efforts.

In addition, Hamilton made 11 blocks and collected 124 rebounds (85 defensive boards) in a busy month of running, jumping, diving and hustling.

Simply put, he’s an energized for Bob Pierce’s Western Conference club.

Entering this week’s series against the Rizing Fukuoka, Hamilton is the team leader in rebounds, steals, blocks and assists, a rare quadruple feat for a power forward, but a reminder of his special qualities as a player.

Hamilton is also averaging 11.2 points per game.