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Thirdy Ravena, San-en escape Allen Durham's Niigata for 3rd straight win

Thirdy Ravena's San-en NeoPhoenix picked up their third straight win at home, 85-81, over Allen Durham-led Niigata Albirex BB on Saturday, December 19 at the Toyohashi City General Gymnasium.

The winning streak propelled San-en to match its win record in the last completed season with 5 wins and now stands with 17 losses in the Japan B. League.

"We were working on our game. We’re playing better and better," said NeoPhoenix coach Branislav Vićentić, who admitted that the team had a slow start due to a shorthanded lineup caused by the pandemic and injuries.

Ravena, who recovered from COVID-19, went head-to-head against three-time PBA Best Import Allen Durham and bounced back from his zero-point outing in the last game with 11 points and 2 rebounds.

San-en's American Jamaican import Kyle Hunt led the team with a double-double of 17 points and 13 boards, while Stevan Jelovac was vital in sustaining the lead with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The host squad blitzed off to a comfortable 16-point lead, 30-14, in the opening quarter.

San-en only felt Niigata's threat when Jason Washburn led a massive 14-2 run to start the final frame and take a one-point lead, 69-68.

A once dominant ball game for San-en turned into a nip-and-tuck affair until Hunt's crucial putback and Jelovac's charities gave San-en the four-point lead to close out the game.

Washburn drained a game-high of 21 points, while Durham followed with 14 points for Niigata, which dropped to a 6-16 card in the standings.

San-en hopes to further extend its winning streak as it hosts the visitors once again on Sunday, December 20, 2:05 pm (1:05 pm, Manila time).

The Scores:

San-en 85 –  Hunt 17, Jelovac 13, Nishikawa12, Ravena 11, Miljenovic 9, Terazuno 9, Kawashima 8, Ota 2, Suzuki 2, Yamamoto 0, Shingo 0, Kazuma 0. 

Niigata 81 – Washburn 21, Durham 14, Iigarashi 12, Kashiwagura 9, Rosco 9, Ikeda 9, Nohmi 7, Ohya 0, Sato 0, Hayashi 0.

Quarter scores: 30-17, 45-34, 66-55, 85-81.

– Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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