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Friday, Aug. 21, 2009


Miyazaki, Shimane to join bj-league

Staff writer

The fast-growing, upstart bj-league will feature 16 teams for the 2010-11 season, the league announced on Tuesday.

New franchises have been awarded to the Miyazaki Pro Basketball Establish Committee and Shimane Sports Ltd. In May, Akita Pro Basketball Company Ltd. was awarded the league's 14th franchise. None of the three new franchises have selected a team nickname yet.

The bj-league's 13th team, the Kyoto Hannaryz, will play their inaugural season in 2009-10, with their first game scheduled for Oct. 3.

Before the Hannaryz's ownership group was awarded an expansion franchise, the bj-league added two teams per year for the 2006-07 (Takamatsu Five Arrows, Toyama Grouses), 2007-08 (Ryukyu Golden Kings and Rizing Fukuoka) and 2008-09 (Shiga Lakestars and Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix) seasons. By doing so, the league kept all teams on a balanced schedule, with an even number of teams playing two-game series each week.

According a news release, more than 10 groups provisionally applied for franchises. Five groups submitted formal applications, including one unnamed group and another from Kanagawa Prefecture.

The bj-league was established with six teams for 2005-06, its first season.

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