Japan B. League

Kiefer Ravena, other Pinoy imports suffer lopsided losses

Ariel Ian Clarito
Kiefer Ravena, other Pinoy imports suffer lopsided losses

FALLING SHORT. Kiefer Ravena’s double-digit output still wasn’t enough.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

It’s a rough Saturday for Filipino imports Kiefer Ravena, Dwight Ramos, and Ray Parks as Thirdy Ravena also sits out in the Japan. B League

MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars failed to contain Levanga Hokkaido’s third-quarter explosion, dropping a 96-74 decision in the Japan B. League on Saturday, April 16.

Ravena delivered 11 points and 4 rebounds for the Lakestars, who had hoped to carry the momentum of their previous weekend sweep of Osaka Evessa.

But Shiga had no answer for Levanga import Shawn Long, who erupted for 38 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. The former Philadelphia 76er also conspired with point guard Yuta Matsushita in the third canto where the two accounted for 21 of Hokkaido’s 37 points while limiting Shiga to just 17 total points. 

Matsushita dropped 15 points on a 75% shooting clip to backstop Long.

The Lakestars – whose record fell to 12-34 – had a decent start to the ballgame as their defense turned the first half into a low scoring affair. Shiga led by the end of the first quarter, 17-15, and finished the first half down by just a point, 35-36, before Hokkaido turned it around in the second half.

Shiga wound up converting just 38% from the floor, with import Novar Gadson connecting a woeful 26.7% from the field for a team-high 12 points. 

Thirdy Ravena’s squad had a better Saturday than his older brother’s team as the San-En NeoPhoenix pulled off an escape act, winning over Kyoto Hannaryz by the slimmest of margins, 88-87. 

Thirdy, though, sat out due to “poor condition” in the game that saw San-En nail its first win since March 20 when the team downed the Yokohama B-Corsairs.

The victory was just the NeoPhoenix’s ninth out of 48 assignments this season.

Blowout games

Dwight Ramos’ Toyama Grouses and Ray Parks’ Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, meanwhile, absorbed blowout losses in separate games.  

The Grouses failed to defend their home floor and carry the momentum of their recent fine form, yielding a 99-79 decision to Utsunomiya Brex.

Ramos, back on the floor again for the Grouses after a three-week absence, started for Toyama but struggled to get his offense going and finished with just 3 points on 1-of-6 shooting. 

The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart, however, dished out 5 assists on top of registering 3 boards and a steal for the Grouses, who slipped to 20-30 after seeing their four-game winning streak come to an end. 

Utsunomiya, running fourth in the West and sixth overall in the league, limited Toyama to just 14 points in the first quarter and 12 points in the third, which spelled the difference in the game that was still close until halftime. 

New Zealand big man Isaac Fotu anchored Utsonomiya’s attack as he put up 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Brice Johnson led Toyama with 19 points and 11 boards.

Over in Ryukyu, Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins saw up close why the Golden Kings, No. 1 overall in the standings, have been lording it over the entire league all season long.

Nagoya, third in the standings in the West and seventh overall, were simply overwhelmed by the Ryukyu Golden Kings, 97-65. 

Parks put up 6 points, 1 rebound, and 2 steals as the Dolphins had things turn from bad to worse as they were limited to just 9 points the entire second quarter after trailing 19-36 by first quarter’s end.

They entered the halftime staring at a 33-point deficit, 28-61, and never recovered as Nagoya’s card slipped to 26-13.

Ryuichi Kishimoto sank six triples en route to a game-high 24 points for the Kings, while center Jack Cooley had a double-double of 12 points and 12 boards. 

Cody Clark led the Dolphins with 17 points while fellow import Scott Eatherton contributed 16 points. – Rappler.com