Kyoto Hannaryz forward Larry Owens is out with a season-ending knee injury, the bj-league club announced on Friday.
Owens, a former NBA player, sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the third quarter against the Rizing Fukuoka on Sunday. His recovery time is estimated at eight months.
The 32-year-old Owens is Kyoto’s leading scorer (15.9 points per game) and is averaging 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
The Hannaryz (13-3) travel to face the Fukushima Firebonds (11-5) on Saturday and Sunday.
In other league news, the visiting Sendai 89ers routed the expansion Hiroshima Lightning 107-82 on Thursday night. Guard Fumiya Sato paced the 89ers (14-5) with 21 points, all on 3-pointers, and Jamal Boykin poured in 20 and grabbed 13 rebounds. Wendell White had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Terrance Shannon hauled in 15 boards.
Sendai out-rebounded short-handed Hiroshima (1-16) by a 67-39 margin.
For the Lightning, Andre Murray scored a game-high 34 points.
“We played very well most of the game,” Hiroshima coach Joe Navarro told The Japan Times. “It was an eight-point game in the fourth quarter, but their size just wore us down, and (Sato) hit some huge 3s. With (starting center) Gjio (Bain) being out we are very small, they just dominated the boards and the paint.
“Sendai is a very well-coached team, and they are very physical inside. Credit to them and their staff for making adjustments.”
As an expansion team, the Lightning recognize the challenges they face to build a foundation.
“We are in a transition phase right now,” Navarro said. “Our roster is much different than it was at the start of the season. As an expansion team with six rookies on the roster, we understand it’s going to be difficult early. We just have to keep our heads up and try to get better everyday.
“I’m proud of the way my players keep competing and improving. We’ve had a very difficult schedule to start the season, but that’s really the best way to judge where we are as a team. We’ve had to battle injuries most of the season. We’ve only had our full roster three times this season, they’re not major injuries, just bad timing. It will make us stronger as the season progresses.”
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