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Center Davis decides to remain with Shimane

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Big man Jeral Davis, who led the bj-league in blocked shots in each of the past three seasons, recently finalized a deal to return to the Shimane Susanoo Magic for the upcoming season, the team has announced.

The 216-cm Talladega (Alabama) State product was the bj-league’s tallest player last season and is the most dominant shot blocker in league history.

Now, he’ll be back in a Shimane uniform, but playing for a new coach, Greek mentor Vlasios Vlaikidis, a protege of the Magic’s original bench boss, Zeljko Pavlicevic.

Pavlicevic is now the head coach of the Wakayama Trians, a National Basketball League (renamed JBL) squad.

“I really feel that we were right there (in contention) last season in capturing a championship and feel like we can win a championship this upcoming season,” Davis said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “I will do my best to help the team win games and do whatever it takes to bring a championship to Shimane.”

He added: “I am also very excited to see all the fans again and hope that all the fans will continue to support Shimane.”

Shimane qualified for the playoffs in all three seasons under Pavlicevic, advancing to the second round for the first time last May.

In related news, the Magic revealed plans to also bring back five-time All-Star forward Kazuya “J.” Hatano for the 2013-14 season. The veteran joined the team last December after the cash-strapped Oita HeatDevils’ roster purge began.

Hatano began his bj-league career in 2005 with the Osaka Evessa, and helped the franchise win three consecutive titles.