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Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007


Sendai 89ers sweep Albirex in bj-league, improve to 8-2

Staff writer

The Sendai 89ers improved to 8-2, completing a two-game sweep of the Niigata Albirex BB on Sunday with a 96-76 victory. Sendai put its stamp on this game from the get-go, outscoring the visitors 31-14 in the opening quarter. Center Patrick Whearty produced a team-high 23 points for the 89ers and Bobby St. Preux chipped in with 20, while three other teammates had 10 or more.

Andrew Preston's 21 points led Niigata, which slipped to 6-6.

The host Osaka Evessa picked up a 104-89 victory over the Ryukyu Golden Kings. Mikey Marshall, a former Texas Tech player, had 28 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists and Matt Lottich added a 22-point, nine-rebound, five-assist performance for Kensaku Tennichi's squad, which moved back into a tie for first place in the bj-league's Western Conference after winning two against the expansion Golden Kings.

Osaka (9-3) also had noteworthy performances from Jeff Newton (19 points, seven rebounds), Naoto Nakamura (14 points) and Kazuya Hatano (12).

The Evessa led 87-68 after three quarters.

For Ryukyu (2-10, 0-4 on the road), Danny Jones scored 21, Shigeyuki Kinjo had 16 and Naoto Takushi continued his fine all-around play (15 points, six rebounds, four assists).

Elsewhere, the Tokyo Apache earned an 85-83 overtime victory over the host Toyama Grouses.

Nick Davis, Dameion Baker and John Humphrey each scored 21 points apiece for the Apache, who are 9-3 and in the midst of a heated duel with the 89ers in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Davis, the league's highest-profile free agent this past offseason, grabbed 11 boards as well. All-Star point guard Cohey Aoki contributed nine points and dished out five assists in the win.

For Toyama, which lost for the 12th time in as many games, newcomer Jamar Brown delivered a double-double (16 points, 20 rebounds) and center Uka Agbai had a 28-point outing.

Now the Grouses head back to the gym to prepare for their upcoming two-game showdown with the Takamatsu Five Arrows, who are 9-3 and share the Western Conference lead with the two-time champion Evessa.

Tabuse joins Arsenal

Yuta Tabuse, the first Japanese-born player in NBA history, has joined the Anaheim Arsenal of the NBA Development League. Anaheim acquired the point guard from the available player pool, the league announced over the weekend.

Anaheim is affiliated with three NBA teams: the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic.

Tabuse made his 2007-08 playing debut in Sunday's game against the Bakersfield Jam. He had four points on 2-for-4 shooting and three assists in 12:38 of playing time in the Arsenal's 119-109 victory.

He spent the previous two seasons in the D-League, appearing in 77 games in that span for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds and Bakersfield. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 assists per game.

Bakersfield released Tabuse on Nov. 17.

The 27-year-old Tabuse played four games for the Phoenix Suns during the 2004-05 season.

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