Game Notes: Group B – New Taipei Kings (3-0) vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (2-2)

January 9, 2024

Game Notes: Group B – New Taipei Kings (3-0) vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (2-2)
Game Notes: Group B – New Taipei Kings (3-0) vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (2-2)

Written by EASL

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final four Qualification on the line in kings' first clash

January 10, 2024 – New Taipei Xinzhuang Gymnasium, New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

Storylines

1. New Taipei Kings can qualify with a win

New Taipei Kings can secure qualification for the EASL 2023-24 Season Final Four with a win against Ryukyu Golden Kings.

New Taipei are on a 3-0 record and look likely to finish top of Group B. This would pitch them against the second-placed team in Group A in the semifinals.

The Korean Basketball League’s Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters currently look most likely to get second place in Group A.

Led by veteran superstar Jeremy Lin, New Taipei Kings have been one of the strongest-looking sides in EASL this season.

At the start of the season, Lin told media that Kings Head Coach Ryan Marchand had set the team two goals: to win the domestic P. LEAGUE+ and to win EASL.

A big step towards the latter could be taken on Wednesday night.

2. Golden Kings battle Seoul for second place

Both Ryukyu Golden Kings and the KBL’s Seoul SK Knights are on 2-2 this season and are the main contenders for the second Final Four spot in Group B.

Ryukyu have a more difficult run-in, facing back-to-back games against New Taipei Kings to close out the group stage.

Seoul face one game against New Taipei Kings and one game against bottom-of-the-table Meralco Bolts.

The Bolts stunned Ryukyu in Studio City Macau on December 13, taking down the Japanese champs in overtime. The PBA side also pushed New Taipei Kings all the way in Taipei in November. But the Bolts are now essentially playing for pride, requiring a miracle to qualify.

If Ryukyu are going to make it to the Final Four, they need positive results against New Taipei.

3. First game between Kings and Kings

This will be the first time that New Taipei Kings and Ryukyu Golden Kings face each other in EASL this season.

The P. LEAGUE+ side are looking strong on a 3-0 record. However, two of those victories came over Meralco Bolts, the bottom-placed team in Group B.

Jeremy Lin has been the standout performer for New Taipei, with team highs of 20 points per game and 6.7 assists per game. Kenny Manigault has also stood out, with team highs in rebounds (10.3 per game) and steals (3.6 per game).

B.LEAGUE champions Ryukyu Golden Kings are on 2-2, with both a win and a loss against both the Bolts and Seoul SK Knights.

Jack Cooley leads for Ryukyu on points per game (15.1) and rebounds per game (12.6). Other stats leaders include Allen Durham 4.2 assists per game and Keita Imamura on 1.1. steals per game.

An intriguing clash of kings awaits.

By the Numbers

New Taipei Kings (P. LEAGUE+)

Team History:

  • Founded: 2021
  • Honors: 2022-23 P. LEAGUE+ runners-up

2022-23 P. LEAGUE+ Runners-Up:

  • Regular season record: 27-13
  • Regular Season Champions
  • Playoffs: defeated Dreamers 3-1 in semifinals; lost to Taipei Fubon Braves 4-2 in Finals

EASL 2023-24 Season record: 3-0

  • November 8, 2023: 90-72 win over Seoul SK Knights (KBL)
  • November 27, 2023: 97-92 win over Meralco Bolts (PBA)
  • January 3, 2024: 89-77 win over Meralco Bolts (PBA)

EASL 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Jeremy Lin – 20.0 ppg
  • Rebounds: Kenny Manigault – 10.3 rpg
  • Assists: Jeremy Lin – 6.7 apg
  • Steals: Kenny Manigault – 3.7 spg
  • Blocks: Christian Anigwe – 2.3 bpg

EASL 2023-24 Season upcoming games:

  • Home vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (B.LEAGUE) – January 10, 2024
  • Away vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (B.LEAGUE) – January 24, 2024
  • Away vs. Seoul SK Knights (KBL) – January 31, 2024

2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ Season record: 8-5

  • November 11, 2023: 96-89 win over Taipei Fubon Braves
  • November 18, 2023: 111-87 win over Hsinchu Toplus Lioneers
  • November 19, 2023: 123-113 win over Taoyuan Pauian Pilots
  • November 25, 2023: 98-92 win over Taoyuan Pauian Pilots
  • November 26, 2023: 109-93 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • December 3, 2023: 92-81 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • December 9, 2023: 107-86 win over Taoyuan Pauian Pilots
  • December 17, 2023: 100-90 loss against Taoyuan Pauian Pilots
  • December 23, 2023: 111-106 win over Taipei Fubon Braves
  • December 24, 2023: 120-104 loss against Formosa Dreamers
  • December 30, 2023: 105-98 loss against Hsinchu Toplus Lioneers
  • December 31, 2023: 104-96 loss against Taipei Fubon Braves
  • January 6, 2024: 76-93 loss against Formosa Dreamers

P. LEAGUE+ 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Jeremy Lin – 22.7 ppg
  • Rebounds: Byron Mullens – 12.3 rpg
  • Assists: Kenny Manigault – 5.6 apg
  • Steals: Kenny Manigault – 3.6 spg
  • Blocks: Tony Mitchell – 1.4 bpg

Ryukyu Golden Kings (B.LEAGUE)

Team History:

  • Founded: 2007
  • 2022-23 B.LEAGUE Champions
  • 2018 EASL Super 8 Champions
  • 4x Japan bj league Champions (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016)

2023 B.LEAGUE Champions

  • Regular season record: 48-12
  • B.LEAGUE West District Champions
  • Playoffs: defeated Nagoya Diamond Dolphins 2-0 in quarterfinals; defeated Yokohama B-Corsairs 2-0 in semifinals; defeated Chiba Jets 2-0 in B.LEAGUE Finals

EASL 2023-24 Season record: 2-2

  • October 18, 2023: 80-79 win over Seoul SK Knights (KBL)
  • November 1, 2023: 82-69 loss against Seoul SK Knights (KBL)
  • November 15, 2023: 89-61 win over Meralco Bolts (PBA)
  • December 13, 2023: 97-88 loss against Meralco Bolts (PBA)

EASL 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Vic Law – 20.5 ppg
  • Rebounds: Vic Law – 11.0 rpg
  • Assists: Allen Durham – 6.5 apg
  • Steals: Jack Cooley – 1.5 spg
  • Blocks: Hugh Watanabe & Jack Cooley – 1.0 bpg

EASL 2023-24 Season upcoming games:

  • Away vs. New Taipei Kings (P. LEAGUE+) – January 10, 2024
  • Home vs. New Taipei Kings (P. LEAGUE+) – January 24, 2024

EASL History:

  • 2023 EASL Champions Week: Ryukyu Golden Kings went 2-1, defeating PBA side San Miguel Beermen 96-68 and P. LEAGUE+ side Taipei Fubon Braves 83-78 in the Group Stage. They lost to Bay Area Dragons 90-70 in the Third Place Game.
  • 2019 Terrific 12 (an EASL competition): Ryukyu Golden Kings went 0-2, falling to CBA side Shenzhen Aviators and PBA side San Miguel Beermen.
  • 2018 Terrific 12 (EASL competition): Ryukyu Golden Kings went 4-0, defeating the PBA D League All Stars and CBA side Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Group Stage. They defeated B.LEAGUE side Nagoya Diamond Dolphins in the semifinals before defeating CBA side Guangzhou Loong Lions in the Finals to win the tournament.
  • 2017 Super 8 (EASL competition): Ryukyu Golden Kings went 3-2, defeating KBL side Goyang Orions, SBL (Super Basketball League – Chinese Taipei) side Taoyuan Pauian Archiland and CBA side Shenzhen Leopards in the Group Stage. They lost to CBA side Zhejiang Lions in the semifinals before losing to Goyang Orions in the Third Place Game.

B.LEAGUE 2023-24 Season record: 20-8

  • October 5, 2023: 80-63 win over Saga Ballooners
  • October 7, 2023: 80-79 win over Saga Ballooners
  • October 14, 2023: 93-86 win over Sun Rockers Shibuya
  • October 15, 2023: 84-82 win over Sun Rockers Shibuya
  • October 21, 2023: 89-66 loss against Yokohama B-Corsairs
  • October 22, 2023: 88-70 win over Yokohama B-Corsairs
  • October 25, 2023: 87-66 loss against Kawasaki Brave Thunders
  • October 28, 2023: 84-65 win over Toyama Grouses
  • October 29, 2023: 85-59 win over Toyama Grouses
  • November 4, 2023: 81-76 loss against Osaka Evessa
  • November 5, 2023: 94-76 win over Osaka Evessa
  • November 8, 2023: 87-71 win over Kyoto Hannaryz
  • November 11, 2023: 80-77 win over Shimane Susanoo Magic
  • November 12, 2023: 91-84 win over Shimane Susanoo Magic
  • December 2, 2023: 93-73 loss against SeaHorses Mikawa
  • December 3, 2023: 84-82 win over SeaHorses Mikawa
  • December 6, 2023: 76-73 win over Osaka Evessa
  • December 9, 2023: 83-81 win over Shinshu Brave Warriors
  • December 10, 2023: 83-79 win over Shinshu Brave Warriors
  • December 16, 2023: 80-73 win over Hiroshima Dragonflies
  • December 17, 2023: 76-71 win over Hiroshima Dragonflies
  • December 20, 2023: 76-74 loss against Nagasaki Velca
  • December 23, 2023: 80-71 loss against Gunma Crane Thunders
  • December 24, 2023: 81-72 win over Gunma Crane Thunders
  • December 31, 2023: 84-69 win over Sendai 89ers
  • January 1, 2024: 83-81 loss against Sendai 89ers
  • January 6, 2024: 68-57 loss against Fighting Eagles Nagoya
  • January 7, 2024: 65-88 win over Fighting Eagles Nagoya

B.LEAGUE 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Jack Cooley – 16.2 ppg
  • Rebounds: Jack Cooley – 12.6 rpg
  • Assists: Allen Durham – 4.0 apg
  • Steals: Keita Imamura & Jack Cooley – 1.0 spg
  • Blocks: Alex Kirk – 0.9 bpg

Players to Watch

New Taipei Kings

#7 Jeremy Lin – PG

USA NCAA Division I: Harvard (2006-2010):

  • 2× First-team All-Ivy League (2009, 2010)
  • 2008 Second-team All-Ivy League

Former NBA player (Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors):

  • NBA Career Stats: 480 games – 11.6 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.8 rpg, 1.1 spg
  • NBA: 2019 NBA Champion (Toronto Raptors)
  • 2012 NBA TV Social Breakout Player of the Year

Former NBA G League player (Reno Bighorns, Erie Bayhawks, Santa Cruz Warriors)

China: CBA – Beijing Ducks:

  • 2020 CBA All-Star

Chinese Taipei: P. LEAGUE + (Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers, New Taipei Kings):

  • 2023 P. LEAGUE+ Assists Leader (Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers)

2012 Time 100: Most Influential People of the Year

2012 ESPY Award for Breakthrough Athlete of the Year

EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 20.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.7 apg

2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 21.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.5 apg

#55 Kenny Manigault – F

USA NCAA Division I: Wichita State (2009-10)

USA NCAA Division II: USC Aiken (2010-11)

USA NAIA: Pikeville (2011-13)

Australia: NBL1 – Goldfields Giants (2016)

Poland: I Liga – AZS Koszalin (2016-17)

Finland: Korisliiga - Tampereen Pyrintö (2017-19); Helsinki Seagulls 022)

Asia: ABL – Macau Black Bears (2019-20)

Israel: Israeli National League - Elitzur Yavne B.C. (2020-21)

Canada: CEBL – Fraser Valley Bandits (2021)

Chinese Taipei: P. LEAGUE+ - New Taipei Kings:

  • 2023 P. LEAGUE+ Steals Leader
  • 2023 P. LEAGUE+ All-Second Team
  • 12th player in professional basketball history to record a quadruple-double

EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 17.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 4.7 apg

2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 16.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 5.7 apg

#1 Joseph Lin – G

USA NCAA Division III: Hamilton College (2011-15)

Chinese Taipei: Taipei Fubon Braves (2015-22):

  • 2x P. LEAGUE+ Champion (Taipei Fubon Braves: 2021, 2022)
  • 2019 SBL Champion (Taipei Fubon Braves)
  • 4x SBL All-Star (2016-2019)

EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 12.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg

2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.4 apg

Ryukyu Golden Kings

#30 Keita Imamura – SG

Japan: B.LEAGUE – Ryukyu Golden Kings

  • 2023 B.LEAGUE Champions

Japanese National Basketball Team (2018 Asian Games)

EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 17.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg

2023-24 B.LEAGUE season:

  • 13.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.5 apg

#45 Jack Cooley – C

USA NCAA Division I: Notre Dame (2009-2013)

  • 2013 First-team All-Big East
  • 2012 Second-team All-Big East
  • 2012 Big East Most Improved Player

Former NBA player (Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings)

Former NBA G League player (Idaho Stampede, Reno Bighorns)

Italy: LBA – Dinamo Sassari

  • 2019 FIBA Europe Cup champion

Japan: B.LEAGUE – Ryukyu Golden Kings

  • 2023 B.LEAGUE Champions

EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 11.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.5 apg

2023-24 B.LEAGUE season:

  • 16.2 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 1.0 apg

#4 Vic Law – SF

USA NCAA Division I: Northwestern (2014-19)

  • 2017 Big Ten All-Defensive Team

Former NBA player (Orlando Magic)

Former NBA G LEAGUE player (Lakeland Magic)

  • 2020 All-NBA G League Third Team

Australia: NBL – Perth Wildcats

  • 2022 All-NBL First Team

EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 20.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 6.0 apg

2023-24 B.LEAGUE season:

  • 15.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.7 apg

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