It was a mixed bag of results for the nine-man Filipino contingent on Saturday, October 23, as multiple stars suffered losses in varying degrees of severity.
But on the bright side, several of them had solid individual showings and the entire delegation is, at the very least, present with their respective teams for the first time this season, with Javi Gomez de Liaño and Matthew Aquino being held out due to paperwork issues, and a coach’s decision, respectively.
With the exception of Niigata Albirex import Kobe Paras, who wrapped up his back-to-back schedule this Saturday with a heartbreaking 75-77 loss to the Seahorses Mikawa, the remaining seven Pinoys will be back in action in another jam-packed Sunday slate, October 24.
Dwight Ramos | Toyama Grouses vs Ryukyu Golden Kings
The Toyama Grouses stayed winless after eight games as they blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead to the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who earned an 83-80 win to sweep the weekend.
Dwight Ramos missed a desperate game-tying triple at the buzzer, and finished with modest numbers of 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block on 5-of-10 shooting.
The Grouses, the only winless team left in the 22-team Division 1, will try again for a breakthrough on Wednesday, October 27, against the Osaka Evessa.
Read the full story here.
Less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking 88-95 collapse, Dwight Ramos and the winless Grouses (0-7) will continue their search for a breakthrough win with a rematch against the steady Kings (5-2), bannered by longtime PBA import Allen Durham.
On a positive note amid a league-worst losing streak, Ramos churned out a career-high 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting in his second B. League start, albeit being held scoreless in the crucial fourth quarter.
However, with the Gilas Pilipinas prospect already noticeably improving his shot selection with his new squad, the Toyama victory drought may just end sooner rather than later.
Game tips off at 12:05 pm.
Thirdy Ravena | San-En NeoPhoenix vs Ibaraki Robots
Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix snapped their three-game losing streak after crushing the Javi Gomez de Liaño-less Ibaraki Robots, 83-66, in the Japan B. League on Sunday, October 24 at the Kamisu Disaster Prevention Arena.
Ravena delivered an all-around game of 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for the NeoPhoenix as they prevented the Robots from completing a weekend sweep and improved to 3-5 in the standings.
Read the full story here.
After a hot start to their season, the NeoPhoenix (2-5)are regressing back to their losing ways after the Javi Gomez de Liaño-less Ibaraki pulled off a 95-79 blowout stunner to send San-En to its third straight loss.
In the loss, Pinoy pioneer import Thirdy Ravena got his shooting touch back, and finished with 14 points on a 6-of-10 clip to go with 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and a block.
However, individual success is likely the farthest from the NeoPhoenix’s priorities as they now aim to avoid a weekend sweep against the once-winless Robots squad (1-6) at 1:05 pm.
Ray Parks vs Kiefer Ravena | Nagoya Diamond Dolphins vs Shiga Lakestars
Kiefer Ravena broke out of a week-long slump at just the right time as the visiting Shiga Lakestars exacted revenge on Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins with a 110-79 blowout on Sunday, October 24.
After bottoming out with 5 points on 1-of-13 shooting the prior game, Ravena shook off the cobwebs in his offensive arsenal, and finished with 16 points, all in the first half, on 6-of-12 shooting to go with 9 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals.
On the losing end, Parks quieted down to just 7 markers, 3 boards, and 2 steals after a career-high 22-point outing in the Dolphins’ 39-point destruction of the Lakestars last game.
Read the full story here.
Speaking of players needing good luck, the Lakestars’ Kiefer Ravena could certainly use some as well after his dream match with longtime rival Ray Parks Jr. quickly turned into a nightmare, as Nagoya (4-3) obliterated Shiga (5-2) by 39 points, 107-68.
Ravena undoubtedly had his worst game in his one-and-done overseas season so far as he finished with just 5 points on a putrid 1-of-13 clip.
Meanwhile, Parks continued his steady rise from an extremely slow B. League career start, and thoroughly outclassed his compatriot with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting to set the tone for the Sunday rematch at 2:05 pm.
Juan Gomez de Liaño | Earthfriends Tokyo Z vs Fighting Eagles Nagoya
Juan Gomez de Liaño and the Earthfriends Tokyo Z remained winless in eight outings as they suffered another double-digit loss to the league-leading Fighting Eagles Nagoya, 79-52, in Division 2 of the Japan B. League on Sunday, October 24 at the Ota Gymnasium.
After putting up 8 points and 2 assists yesterday as a starter, Gomez de Liaño, who is averaging 4.6 points, 1.4 assists, and 1.3 rebounds in 10 minutes of play, did not see action for the Earthfriends in the losing effort.
No upsets could be found on this side of the B. League, meanwhile, as the league-leading Fighting Eagles (6-1) soared to a 71-56 rout of the cellar-dwelling Division 2 representatives of the country’s capital city.
Juan Gomez de Liaño continued his rollercoaster start to his pro career after he dropped 8 points and 2 assists in just 12 minutes as a starter for Tokyo z (0-7). But this time, the low minutes were of his own doing after he fouled out with nearly 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Maybe an unexpected win over the division’s best team can change their fortunes around. Gomez de Liaño certainly needs some good luck his way at this point.
Game starts at 2 pm.
Kemark Cariño | Aomori Wat’s vs Kagawa Five Arrows
Kemark Cariño and the Aomori Wat’s absorbed another heartbreaking loss as they fell to the Kagawa Five Arrows, 81-78, off a game-winning three-pointer by Takayuki Kodama with just 1 second remaining.
The former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Cariño, who grabbed 2 rebounds in 8 minutes of action yesterday, did not see action at all in this second game of their back-to-back slate as they now dropped to 1-7 in the standings.
After months of few to no updates regarding his playing status, Gilas project big man Kemark Cariño finally made his pro debut as Kagawa (5-2) escaped Aomori (1-6) with an 88-83 win.
The San Beda dynasty product finished with 2 rebounds in 8 minutes off the bench, and will try to get more floor time in the Sunday rematch at 1 pm.
Matthew Aquino | Shinshu Brave Warriors vs Osaka Evessa
The Shinshu Brave Warriors completed their weekend sweep of the Osaka Evessa with a huge 95-79 win on Sunday, October 24 at the Ookini Arena Maishima.
Shinshu big man Matthew Aquino, however, did not see action once again for the Brave Warriors in their 16-point victory.
Aquino will get another chance to make his B. League debut on Wednesday, October 27 when the Brave Warriors face the Levanga Hokkaido at 6:05 pm, Manila time.
Fil-Japanese big man Matthew Aquino may be the son of the legendary Marlou, but that doesn’t mean he can crack a pro team’s rotation that easily.
Seen as a 6-foot-9 project after a low-key stint with National University, the 25-year-old failed to see the floor even for a second in Shinshu’s (3-4) thrilling 85-82 win over Osaka (3-4).
Fans will have to wait and see if Aquino gets a clear shot to play in the Sunday rematch at 3:05 pm. Unless he has an undisclosed injury of some sort, getting garbage time minutes or any form of playing time can already go a long way in his budding pro career.