MANILA, Philippines – The San-En NeoPhoenix once again lost control of the endgame in the Japan B. League as the defending champion Chiba Jets hung on to an 87-80 road win on Sunday, December 12.
Thirdy Ravena finished with 12 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, and 1 block in his second game back from suspension, and was responsible for an and-one bucket at the 4:11 mark of the fourth quarter to give his team a 76-75 lead.
However, after a few minutes of clutch back-and-forth offense from both squads, the pioneer Pinoy import was also responsible for a game-sealing turnover at the 11-second mark to fully secure the Jets’ five-point lead, 85-80.
That miscue only made things worse after the NeoPhoenix turned a potential game-tying possession to a 24-second shot clock violation with 22 ticks left as Chiba led by three, 83-80.
Jets captain Yuki Togashi then promptly sank the game-winning free throws as the defending champs rolled on to a 14-4 record. He finished with team-highs of 26 points and 9 assists.
On the other end, import Robert Carter led all scorers with 28 markers, 9 boards, and 6 dimes as San-En sunk to its 10th straight loss for an ugly 3-15 slate.
Ravena and the NeoPhoenix can end their long run of futility once and for all with a match against the Hiroshima Dragonflies on Wednesday, December 15, 6:05 pm, Manila time.
Chiba 87 – Togashi 26, Mooney 14, Duncan 12, Akaho 9, Sato 6, Hara 5, Nishimura 5, Rashid 5, Smith 5.
San-En 80 – Carter 28, Knox 15, Ravena 12, Tsuya 10, Tsuyama 6, Matsuwaki 5, Sugiura 2, Yamauchi 2, Ota 0, Okada 0.
Quarters: 20-21, 44-38, 67-66, 87-80.