Japan B. League

Ravena brothers, Kai Sotto play key roles in Sunday victories

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Ravena brothers, Kai Sotto play key roles in Sunday victories

BIG GAME. Thirdy Ravena (center) drops all-around numbers for San-En.


Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena put up all-around shows in separate triumphs, while Kai Sotto makes the most of another foul-plagued stint

MANILA, Philippines – The Ravena brothers picked up huge wins on Sunday, March 26, while Kai Sotto and the Hiroshima Dragonflies left the Toyama Grouses home floor with a 2-0 record in the Japan B. League.

Thirdy Ravena played the hero’s role as the visiting San-En NeoPhoenix pulled off an upset over the Utsunomiya Brex,  59-56, at the Nikkan Arena Tochigi Main Arena.

With the low-scoring game tied at 55-all with just 38 seconds left, the younger Ravena stole the ball from Japanese star Makoto Hiejima to score on a breakaway layup, giving the NeoPhoenix a two-point cushion. 

Hiejima picked up a foul on an incidental contact from Thirdy in the next possession, but the former B. League MVP could only split his charities which all but sealed the loss for an Utsunomiya squad which fell to a 23-22 record.

Thirdy registered 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals to help arrest San-En’s five-game losing skid and improve their record to 18-27. He has been averaging 14.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in the last six games.

At the Shiga Daihatsu Arena, Kiefer Ravena followed up his clutch performance on Saturday with a double-double to lead the Shiga Lakes to a 93-68 triumph over the Sunrockers Shibuya.

Kiefer had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Lakes, who raced to a 43-33 halftime advantage. Shiga practically broke the game wide open in the last quarter against the Sunrockers, who like Utsunomiya, remained in contention for a playoff spot.

The Shiga Lakes picked up their third consecutive victory, the first time this season the squad won three straight games.

Over at the Kurobe City Sports Center, Kai Sotto and the Hiroshima Dragonflies jumped the gun on the home team to pull away from the Toyama Grouses, 94-77.

Unlike in their Saturday matchup when the Grouses managed to keep the game close until the fourth quarter, the Dragonflies this time were in control the entire game and entered the fourth quarter with a 74-56 edge, which practically took the fight out of the Grouses.

Sotto was again plagued with foul trouble and played just 17 minutes. He still wound up with 10 points despite the limited touches. 

The 7-foot-3 Filipino giant only attempted five times from the field given the ball dominance of import Dwayne Evans, who would not feed Sotto the ball even on pick-and roll plays. 

Sotto also had 6 rebounds and 1 block.

Hiroshima improved to a 33-12 record, just two games behind Alvark Tokyo for fourth place.

Other results

Shimanoo Susanoo Magic def. Kyoto Hannaryz, 90-87 (Matthew Wright – 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 30:19 minutes; Matthew Aquino – DNP)

Levanga Hokkaido def. Alvark Tokyo, 73-70 (Dwight Ramos – 3 points, 1-of-5 field goals, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 25:02 minutes)

Ryukyu Golden Kings def. Sendai 89ers, 75-70  (Carl Tamayo – 0 points, 0-of-2 field goals, 1 assist, 3:15 minutes)

Bambitious Nara def. Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka, 80-78 (Greg Slaughter – 2 points, 1-of-3 field goals, 2 assists, 8:19 minutes)

Nagasaki Velca def. Kagawa Five Arrows, 89-74 (Jordan Heading – 18 points, 7-of-12 field goals, 3 assists, 3 steals, 28:17 minutes; Roosevelt Adams – DNP)

– Rappler.com

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