October 18, 2023 - Okinawa Arena, Okinawa, Japan
Japan B.LEAGUE champions Ryukyu Golden Kings edged a thrilling game this evening in Okinawa, beating Korean Basketball League (KBL) runners-up Seoul SK Knights by a solitary point.
The Golden Kings fended off a monstrous performance from SK's Jameel Warney, who scored 39 points. EASL Player of the Game Keita Imamura starred for the B.LEAGUE side, hitting a team-high 18 points.
1. Ryukyu Golden Kings' key performers were leading scorer Keita Imamura (18 points, 2 assists), Vic Law (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Alex Kirk (13 points, 12 rebounds).
2. Jameel Warney had a phenomenal game for Seoul SK Knights, scoring a staggering 39 points, making him the highest scorer of the game. He also managed 10 rebounds.
3. The B.LEAGUE teams are setting the pace in the early stages of the EASL 2023-24 season. In the other game this evening, the Chiba Jets beat Taipei Fubon Braves, making it three wins from three for the B.LEAGUE sides in the competition, following the Jet's opening night victory over the Philippine Basketball Association's TNT Tropang Giga.
Player of the Game: Keita Imamura, Ryukyu Golden Kings
Imamura displayed efficiency in his field goal shooting, making six out of 11 attempts. He was effective from beyond the arc, making four of his six three-point attempts. He was perfect at the free-throw line, converting two out of two. In addition to his scoring, Imamura contributed two rebounds and two assists. The blot on his copybook was three personal fouls.
Stats of the day
Both teams struggled with three-point shooting, Ryukyu Golden Kings scoring 34% of their efforts and Seoul SK Knights hitting just 17%.
The Golden Kings were efficient at the free-throw line, with a 100% success rate. By contrast, the Knights were on 72%.
Vic Law, Ryukyu Golden Kings small forward:
"This was a very exciting game ... I don't think it necessarily needed to be. We just got off a tough weekend against Shibuya (Sun Rockers, Japan B.LEAGUE opponents). But it's not an excuse. We still had to come out and clean some things up.
"We probably turned the ball over a little bit too much. As the game wore on, we saw that Warney had it going a little bit, getting down to the right, shooting them floaters. But, all in all, you take what you can, you learn from it, and you're happy that you get the win."
Jameel Warney, Seoul SK Knights forward:
"They're obviously B.LEAGUE champs for a reason. They have a lot of good pieces. They can shoot. Vic Law's really good ... They played well as a team. We had a chance to win, we just didn't capitalize on it. But it was a very good experience for us, and a very good start to EASL."
Ryukyu Golden Kings: away vs. Seoul SK Knights (November 1)
Seoul SK Knights: home vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (November 1)