• The Japan Times


Aisin Sea Horses center J.R. Sakuragi was named the Most Valuable Player for the 2010-11 season, the Japan Basketball League announced on Friday.

Sakuragi was fourth in scoring (16.2), first in assists (3.9) and fifth in rebounding (7.9) in the regular season, which was cut short to 36 games due to the earthquake in eastern Japan.

The 34-year-old Sakuragi, who received his first MVP accolade, made the All-JBL team along with guard Hiroyuki Kinoshita of the Panasonic Trians, guard/forward Takuya Kawamura of the Link Tochigi Brex, forward Joji Takeuchi of the Hitachi Sunrockers, and Sea Horses forward/center Kosuke Takeuchi.

Meanwhile, guard Daisuke Kobayashi of Hitachi was named the Rookie of the Year, while Aisin guard Kenichi Sako, who recently announced his retirement, was given a lifetime achievement award.

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