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Sunday, March 25, 2007
Oita nabs playoff spot
By ED ODEVEN
The visiting Oita HeatDevils lost their Saturday showdown with the reigning bj-league champion Osaka Evessa 89-76, but they earned a playoff berth in the process.
The Sendai 89ers, who lost 83-73 to the host Saitama Broncos, remain four games behind the HeatDevils in the league standings, with each team having three regular-season games to play.
The top four teams in the eight-club league qualify for the playoffs, which will be held April 21-22 at Ariake Colosseum.
In Osaka, 2005-06 league MVP, Lynn Washington scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and David Palmer added 25 points for the victorious Evessa.
The Broncos' Gordon James had 21 points and 20 rebounds, Andrew Feeley scored 21 and Kosuke Shimizu had 20. Mamadou Diouf had a game-high 25 points for the 89ers.
In Niigata, the Albirex BB topped the Toyama Grouses 88-83. Naoto Kosuge scored 17 and Matt Garrison poured in 14 for Niigata, while Nile Murry and Jerod Ward had 24 apiece for the Grouses.
The Takamatsu Five Arrows topped the Tokyo Apache 79-73. Reggie Warren paced the Five Arrows with 20 points. John 'Helicopter" Humphrey returned to the Apache lineup after missing seven games and scored 25, while Kohei Aoki had 23.