MANILA, Philippines – The Shiga Lakestars finally found themselves back on the winning side of the Japan B. League after completing a home turf sweep of the Osaka Evessa, 88-78, on Sunday, April 10.
With the productive weekend in the bag, the reeling Lakestars rose to 12-33 for the season after dropping 16 straight games dating back to February 27.
This is the team’s first back-to-back win run since sweeping Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB back in December 25 and 26 last year.
Coming off a tense skid-stopping 79-78 the day prior, Filipino star import Kiefer Ravena followed up a 13-point outing with 14 markers on Sunday, 8 coming in the fourth quarter alone, along with 9 assists, and 2 steals.
Off a 66-68 deficit with 7:24 left in the final frame, Shiga stormed ahead with a pivotal 10-0 fightback capped by a Ravena and-one finish for a 76-68 lead midway through the period.
Although Osaka got back within three, 74-77, in the final 1:45 of regulation, it was Ravena’s fellow import Novar Gadson who took charge with a five-point swing, ending with a dagger triple for an 82-74 gap with just 39 ticks left.
Gadson led all scorers with 29 points on 13-of-21 shooting plus 9 boards, while team captain Teppei Kashiwagura scored 18 off a 6-of-11 clip.
Import Kyle Hunt paced the 20-26 Evessa with 20 points, 8 boards, and 3 dimes as they dropped their third straight game.
Shiga, meanwhile, hopes to go the other way of Osaka’s streak as it shoots for its third straight win against Levanga Hokkaido next weekend while the other Filipino-reinforced teams try to get healthy bodies back to avert more game postponements.
Shiga 88 – Gadson 29, Kashiwagura 18, Ravena 14, O’mara 8, Hayashi 6, Shibuta 5, Moriyama 5, Smith 3, Imagawa 0.
Osaka 78 – Hunt 20, Doblas 16, Brown 15, Kinoshita 13, Takeuchi 7, Nakamura 5, Goda 2, Donley 0.
Quarters: 24-12, 34-39, 63-62, 88-78.