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What made the Ryukyu Golden Kings’ remarkable championship season even more startling was the team’s cohesiveness and singular focus. It started in training camp and lasted until the final second ticked off the clock at Ariake Colosseum on Sunday.

The Golden Kings’ strictly business mentality set the tone for their lockdown defense, which yielded a league-low 68.5 points per game in the regular season). They held the Kyoto Hannaryz to 56 points in the Western Conference final on Saturday before clamping down on the high-powered Akita Northern Happinets, who averaged a league-best 90.2 points a game before the playoffs.

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