Oketani fired by HeatDevils

The Japan Times

The Oita HeatDevils have fired coach Dai Oketani. His contract expires on May 31.

Oketani has coached the HeatDevils during the team’s three-year existence in the bj-league. In its inaugural season, Oita posted a 15-25 record. In 2006-07, Oita reached the playoffs, winning 22 of 40 regular-season games. The team slipped to 19-21 this season, missing out on the Western Conference’s wild-card spot on the final weekend of the season to the Takamatsu Five Arrows.

The high-scoring HeatDevils were one of the league’s top offensive teams this past season. Andy Ellis led the league in scoring (25.5 points per game) and Tsubasa Yonamine was No. 2 in assists (5.6) but the team’s defense was mediocre.