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The Osaka Evessa made a big hire during the offseason, luring Dai Oketani, the winningest coach in bj-league history, to return to his Kansai roots.

A Kyoto native, Oketani had led the Oita HeatDevils and Ryukyu Golden Kings, taking the latter to a pair of championships before moving on the Iwate Big Bulls for the past three seasons. As expected, the Big Bulls became one of the league’s elite teams during Oketani’s tenure and reached their first Final Four in May.

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