First win at Okinawa Arena, where Shimane is not good – Ryukyu Golden Kings vs Shimane Susanoo Magic GAME2 –

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On Sunday, November 27, 2022, Ryukyu Golden Kings vs Shimane Susanoo Magic GAME2 was held at Okinawa Arena.

Kings won the previous day’s GAME1 96-86. Shimane led by as many as 18 points midway through the game, but Kings were able to push the game into overtime and lost. With this loss, Shimane has now lost five straight games at the Okinawa Arena and is becoming a ‘bad arena”.

In order for Shimane to become a true playoff contender, they definitely do not want to give the impression that they cannot win in the Okinawa Arena. However, Shimane has a naturalized player, #28 Nyika Williams, who was sent off in GAME 1 and is suspended.

In the face of adversity, Shimane attacked with playoff-like heat and pride.

 

Shimane’s “Buzzsaw” Defense

Kings starters were #7 Allen Durham, #14 Ryuichi Kishimoto, #30 Keita Imamura, #34 Shota Onodera, and #45 Jack Cooley.

For Shimane, #2 Perrin Buford, #3 Seiya Ando, #4 Nick Kay, #26 Shota Tsuyama, and #55 Daichi Taniguchi.

 

Shimane used Taniguchi to start in place of the suspended Nyika. Kings gathered the ball in Durham at the low post and went after Taniguchi, but Shimane had everyone moving their feet on defense and covering each other, not allowing Kings to get an easy shot off.

With 2:40 left in the first quarter, Tsuyama made a 3-pointer just off the shot clock to give Shimane an 8-point lead, 9-17. Shimane’s energetic defense put Kings ahead for good.

Then, with 1:16 left in the quarter, Shimane HC Paul Henare protested vehemently when Duncan took a turn shot on goal off a fast break by Kings. Shimane’ players on the court and the bench showed their commitment to this game.

The first quarter ended with Shimane leading by 8 points, 15-23. Shimane’s defense, which kept everyone on the move, was a true “Buzzsaw.

 

Kings finish the first half with a tie thanks to Onodera

On the first play of the second quarter, Imamura pressured Tsuyama hard. He does not allow him to shoot and takes a 24-second violation.

 

But soon after the play, Tsuyama pressured and take a turnover from Imamura. Mutual pride clashes.

 

Kings have been overwhelmed by the Shimane defense up to this point, and their offense has stalled as they cannot get the ball into the paint area. 7:18 left in the 2nd quarter, Kings HC Oketani calls a timeout.

After the timeout, Kings fought back, thanks to Onodera.

With 5:56 left, Onodera makes a successful 3-pointer from 45 degrees left. Immediately after, on defense, he snaps a rebound by Kay underneath. Another consecutive 3-pointer from the left corner put the visitors up by five, 23-28, at one point.

Onodera also forced Buford to travel in cover defense. Onodera’s defensive spirit pulled the team along.

The second quarter ended with the score tied 35-35.

 

Shimane defeated the ‘bad arena”Okinawa Arena as a team

Early in the 3rd quarter, Shimane had Buford waiting in the corner and moved the ball with Ando and Tsuyama to attack. Kings, on the other hand, broke in a straight line from the middle of the court with Kishimoto and Cooley playing in tandem.

Kings continued to use their starting lineup until 5:14 left in the third quarter. How will this play out?

In the middle of the third quarter, Buford is in scoring mode for Shimane. He attacks the ring more and more.

 

After ending the third quarter with Kings up by three, 54-51, the fourth quarter continued to be a back-and-forth affair.

Kings wanted to exploit their inside advantage, but the Shimane defense was still double-teaming quickly against the low post late in the game. Kings were still unable to find a way to break the deadlock and were unable to get into a good shooting position.

 

Shimane’s “Bazzsaw” style did not wane in the fourth quarter. Ando pushed the ball all the way to the frontcourt, and Buford and Tsuyama attacked the paint area with courage.

 

With 5:50 left in the fourth quarter, Buford made a 3-pointer from the top to give Shimane a 7-point lead, 57-64. The Okinawa Arena sensed Shimane’s ability, and a heavy atmosphere filled the arena.

But Jack Cooley would not allow them to lose. With 1:15 remaining, he steals the ball from Kay and the score is 66-72, 6 points to 6.

With 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Shimane’s Ryo Abe jumped on an offensive rebound and pushed it in for a basket count one throw. Abe, who continues to support his team with his inconspicuous play, barked, and Shimane pulled ahead by 9 points, 66-75.

Shimane held on and won by a final score of 68-80. Shimane used its team power to break “bad arena” Okinawa Arena to smithereens.

The Kings were overwhelmed by the content of the game more than the point difference. Led by Imamura, Kings formed a circle on the court several times toward the end of the game.

 

Paying back the debt in the playoffs in the playoffs

Shimane’s Ryo Abe scores the winning play for Shimane.

Abe is Shimane’s second unit. He was standing on the court as the loser in the second semifinal of last season’s championship (playoffs) game, at the buzzer-beater moment when the entire Okinawa Arena was on its feet.

“That moment was unforgettable,” Abe said of his feelings at that moment.

“I still feel that if I want to repay that debt, I have to do it on the same stage of the playoffs, so even though I won today, I still feel that I haven’t repaid my debt.”

 

Shimane is sometimes regarded as a starter-heavy team, with its starters playing an outstandingly long time in the league. However, Shimane’s strength lies in the dedication of players like Abe and Shirahama, who prepare on the bench for their turn on the court, which may come at any time.

When asked how he felt after scoring the game-winning goal off an offensive rebound, Abe spoke with a tone of strong determination.

“That (offensive rebound) moment was the work of the whole team, not just me. It just happened to be me this time, if it had been Shirahama, I think the result would have been the same. I think it was a rebound won by the whole team.”

 

Shimane is a true playoff contender because of the power of the entire team. With a tough opponent, Kings will be able to reach greater heights.

The two games in a row made us look forward to this season’s B1 West Division even more.