Japan B. League

Redemption complete: Kiefer Ravena, Shiga sweep Koshigaya to capture B2 crown

Martin Mendoza

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Redemption complete: Kiefer Ravena, Shiga sweep Koshigaya to capture B2 crown

ON A ROLL. Shiga Lakes guard Kiefer Ravena in action in the Japan B. League.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakes return to the top division of the Japan B. League with a B2 title under their belts after a 2-0 sweep of the Koshigaya Alphas in their best-of-three finals showdown

MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakes’ redemption tour is finally complete. 

After a relegation to the second division of the Japan B. League this season, Ravena and the Lakes not only earned a promotion back to B1, but also captured the B2 crown following an 89-87 escape over the Koshigaya Alphas in Game 2 of their best-of-three finals showdown on Sunday, May 19. 

Coming off a clutch performance in their 96-87 Game 1 win on Saturday, May 18, where he scattered 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and the overtime period, Ravena put up a near double-double of 10 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds this time around in a team-high 30 minutes and 41 seconds of play.

Ravena, however, almost cost Shiga the game after committing a turnover off an inbounds play late in the contest. 

The former NLEX Road Warrior and Gilas Pilipinas stalwart found himself trapped by Koshigaya’s double team in the corner, before getting his pass intercepted by L.J. Peak with less than 10 seconds left.

Luckily for Ravena and the Lakes – who were only up by two points, 89-87, at that juncture – Koshigaya failed to capitalize on the opportunity as Peak’s potential game-winning triple went in-and-out of the rim as time expired. 

After leaning heavily on their Australian import Brock Motum in the series opener, the Lakes banked on their American reinforcement Justin Burrell this time as he produced a game-high 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting. 

On the other side, the Alphas were led by Shun Matsuyama, who went off for 24 points built on five treys. 

The 30-year-old Ravena had a remarkable first postseason run with the Lakes in his third year in the Land of the Rising Sun as he averaged 19 points, 3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.6 steals in seven playoff matches. 

Kiefer will get the opportunity to play against his younger brother Thirdy and other Filipino star imports once again when the Lakes return to the league’s top division beginning next season. 

Over in B1, Ray Parks bounced back from his quiet outing on Saturday and helped the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins force a rubber match against the Hiroshima Dragonflies with an 84-77 Game 2 triumph in their best-of-three semifinals.

After being held to only 2 points in Game 1, Parks racked up 14 markers on 5-of-10 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in over 22 minutes of action for the Dolphins. – Rappler.com  

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