The Ryukyu Golden Kings defeated the Toyama Grouses 86-77 in the decisive third game of their B. League playoff quarterfinal series at Okinawa Arena on Monday night.
The Kings, who are the lone Western Conference team still alive in the postseason, will host the Chiba Jets Funabashi in this weekend’s semifinal round.
“My teammates kept finding me and passed the ball to me, and our trust with each other led to the result,” said Ryukyu guard/forward Keita Imamura, who knocked down seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points in Game 3.
After Ryukyu took the first game 92-75, the Grouses bounced back to tie the series 97-74 on Sunday.
The Jets beat the SeaHorses Mikawa 105-76 and 80-78 in their series in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture. Chiba will fly down to Okinawa aiming to reach their third straight final.
The first-seed Utsunomiya Brex opened their series against the Sunrockers Shibuya on Friday night — one day ahead of the other matchups — and quickly wrapped it up on Saturday.
The Brex crushed Shibuya in both games, 92-84 and 111-74 respectively.
“No matter who we play, we got to come out with a lot of energy, come out and play hard like we did today, and come away with two wins,” Brex veteran forward Jeff Gibbs said after the second game at Brex Arena Utsunomiya.
In Osaka, the Kawasaki Brave Thunders, who concluded their regular season with a seven-game winning streak, tamed the Evessa 95-75 and 84-73 competing behind closed doors at Ookini Arena Maishima.
The Brex will face the Brave Thunders, against whom they went 1-3 during the regular season, in the semifinals this weekend.
Brave Thunders head coach Kenji Sato called it it “huge” that his squad had progressed through the quarterfinals as quickly as possible, as their Utsunomiya series will also begin on Friday and a third game against the Evessa would have resulted in a shorter rest.
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