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Kyoto acquires forward Komoda

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Forward Takuya Komoda was selected as an Eastern Conference reserve for the 2012-13 bj-league All-Star Game in Tokyo, and averaged a career-best 10.4 points per game for the Sendai 89ers.

Now, after three seasons with the 89ers, he is moving on. Komoda, who turns 26 on July 15, agreed to terms with the Kyoto Hannaryz on a standard one-year contract, the Western Conference club announced Friday.

The 190-cm Komoda converted 47.7 percent of his 2-point shots last season and grabbed 148 rebounds in 48 games. In Kyoto, he’ll reunite with his first Sendai coach, Honoo Hamaguchi, who has guided Kyoto to back-to-back Final Four appearances after leaving the 89ers.

Sendai had two head coaches last season, Bob Pierce and Takeo Mabashi, the latter is the team’s general manager. Mabashi served as acting head coach after Pierce was axed in February; the team was 13-21 when the change was made.

Meanwhile, the 89ers’ top Japanese player, point guard Takehiko Shimura, does not want to return to the team next season, multiple league sources have told The Japan Times. He led the league in assists last season (6.3 per game).

With 27-year-old head coach Shuto Kawachi now at the helm and awaiting his debut in October, there are low expectations for the 89ers next season.
“I think it might become another Saitama,” one league source said on Friday night. “Maybe not as bad, but close.”

The Saitama Broncos have finished below .500 in each of the league’s eight seasons, including a 15-37 record in 2012-13.
In other league news, the Ryukyu Golden Kings announced on Friday that they have reached agreements in principle to bring back forward Anthony McHenry, the league’s regular-season MVP last season, and veteran guard Naoto Kosuge for the 2013-14 season.
Elsewhere, speculation also reached this reporter from a longtime league insider that Shiga Lakestars coach Al Westover, who has guided the club to a pair of playoff appearances, is unlikely to return to the team for a third season in 2013-14. An official announcement has not been made by the team.

Lakestars guards Jumpei Nakama, Yutaka Yokoe and Shinya Ogawa have agreed to basic terms for 2013-14 contracts, the team reported on its website.