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Shining Suns earn first-ever series sweep

by Ed Odeven

This is one of sports’ indisputable tenets: An expansion team will record a number of historic firsts in its inaugural season.

For the expansion Miyazaki Shining Suns, Sunday’s 94-88 victory over the Shiga Lakestars produced the team’s first-ever series sweep.

Shining Suns guard/forward Jackie Manuel scored a team-high 23 points, Brandon Cole added 21 points and 13 rebounds and Elijah Palmer had 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture.

Captain Taishiro Shimizu chipped in with 17 points and six assists and Takuro Ito scored 13 points and dished out six assists for Miyazaki, which set another franchise record by extending its winning streak to three games.

Coach Koto Toyama’s bj-league club picked up its first victory of the season on Oct. 23, a 105-101 home win over Shiga.

The Shining Suns (11-21) are now 3-1 against the Lakestars, who have dropped three straight games.

Lamar Rice led Shiga (19-13) with 20 points and 16 rebounds, Gary Hamilton had a triple-double (16 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) in 27-plus minutes of court time and Josh Peppers scored 15. Yu Okada had 11 points and Shinya Ogawa scored nine.

Evessa 70, Albirex BB 60

In Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, the hosts completed a sweep by holding Niigata to 6-for-28 shooting from 3-point range.

Lawrence Blackledge paced the Evessa (21-11) with 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Wayne Marshall added 15 points and six boards, Hirohisa Takada scored 13 points and raked in six rebounds, Billy Knight notched a doubled-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Daisuke Tamura and Kevin Tyner had seven points apiece.

Tyner added four steals for Osaka.

Julius Ashby led Niigata (15-15) with 13 points, Yuichi Ikeda scored 12 and Nick DeWitz had 11.

Golden Kings 87, Broncos 82

In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Carlos Dixon scored 25 points and Jeff Newton added 17 points, nine rebounds and two blocks to lead the hosts to a series split.

Dillion Sneed chipped in with 15 points and 10 boards, Anthony McHenry scored 10 and Naoto Kosuge and Tsubasa Yonamine had seven apiece for Ryukyu (19-13).

Kenny Satterfield had a 25-point, six-rebound, seven-assist performance for Saitama (13-19). Yuki Kitamuki added 17 points, including 5-for-11 from 3-point range. Gordon Klaiber scored 12, Bruce Brown poured in 11 and George Leach collected 14 rebounds.

Phoenix 72, HeatDevils 67

In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Wayne Arnold and Jermaine Dixon had 15 points apiece as Hamamatsu Higashimikawa bounced back from its first two-game slide of the season.

Ray Nixon contributed 14 points, Jeffrey Parmer had 12 and Atsuya Ota finished with nine points and nine rebounds for the Phoenix (28-4).

Cyrus Tate paced Oita (15-19) with 18 points and 14 rebounds, Matt Lottich scored 14 and Damian Johnson had 13.

Hannaryz 93, Susanoo Magic 81

In Mitoya, Shimane Prefecture, a determined Kyoto squad bounced back from Saturday’s loss and held Magic guard Takumi Ishizaki in check en route to a win.

After dishing out 12 assists in the series opener, Ishizaki, an All-Star, was held to two in the series finale.

Wendell White led the Hannaryz (16-16) with 19 points and hustled inside to haul in eight rebounds. Taizo Kawabe scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting, while Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had 16 points, including 8-for-10 at the free-throw line.

Kyoto forward Reggie Warren chipped in with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Kibwe Trim had 11 points, while Kyosuke Setoyama scored nine.

For Shimane (13-19), Will Caudle had a team-best 21 points, Terry Davis scored 18 and Tatsuhiro Yokoo had 14.

Rizing 89, Grouses 67

In Uozu, Toyama Prefecture, Michael Parker and Nile Murry each had 21-point outings as Fukuoka recorded a series split.

Parker pulled down 12 rebounds and Akitomo Takeno scored 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting, helping the Rizing improve to 19-15. Abdullahi Kuso chipped in with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

For Toyama (10-20), it was a poor shooting game. The Grouses were 2-for-16 on 3-point shots and 11-for-23 at the foul line.

Jerrell Smith led Toyama with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Brian Harper scored 18 along with nine rebounds. Haakim Johnson scored 10 and Takuma Yamashiro had eight.