• The Japan Times

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Masato Fukushima has been named the new head coach of the Saitama Broncos, the bj-league team announced late Sunday evening.

Fukushima, 38, previously coached the Toyama Grouses. He was fired last November after the team stumbled to a 3-7 start en route to a disastrous 11-41 campaign. He had been the first coach in Toyama history, guiding the team since its inception in 2006. The Grouses, however, had little success under Fukushima, whose team went 13-27 in 2006-07 and 7-37 in 2007-08.

Former NBA player David Benoit coached Saitama for the past two seasons. Saitama missed the playoffs in both seasons, going 19-33 this season and 21-23 in 2007-08. Benoit handed in his resignation letter earlier this month.

“I am honored to be named the Saitama Broncos’ head coach,” said Fukushima, who was an assistant coach for the JBL’s Mitsubishi team from 1997-2002 and served as Mitsubishi’s head coach from 2002-06.

“Our team will understand the importance of the bond, and make every effort to make our dream come true, which is winning the championship.”

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