MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena’s sensational performance for the San-En NeoPhoenix went down the drain as they bowed to the Kyoto Hannaryz, 88-83, in the Japan B. League on Saturday, January 29.
In only San-En’s first game since January 3, Ravena hardly looked like he missed a beat as he tied his season-high 26 points on an efficient 11-of-17 shooting, together with 8 rebounds and 1 assist.
Kyoto’s Justin Harper, however, outdueled the Filipino import Ravena and led all scorers with 36 points to go with 14 rebounds.
After trailing by double-digits at halftime, 35-47, Ravena came out with guns blazing in the third period and scored 15 of his team-high 26 points to pull the NeoPhoenix to within just 1, 63-62, before entering the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, the Hannaryz brought their lead back up to 9, 81-72, with 5 minutes left, but the NeoPhoenix managed to cut the deficit again to just a single possession game, 86-83, off back-to-back baskets by Ravena and Yoshiyuki Matsuwaki with 48 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately for the NeoPhoenix, time was just not on their side as the red-hot Harper sealed the deal in the following possession with two free throws.
Keisuke Aita added 12 points for Kyoto in the win, while Jerome Tillman contributed 11.
Robert Carter and Matsuwaki, meanwhile, backstopped Ravena in the losing effort with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
San-En, which absorbed its fourth straight loss and moved down to 4-23 in the standings, will get another shot against the Hannaryz on Sunday, January 30, at 1:05 pm, Manila time.
In contrast to Ravena and the NeoPhoenix, Dwight Ramos and the Toyama Grouses returned to their winning ways off an 85-68 blowout of the visiting Hiroshima Dragonflies.
Ramos, however, finished with a quiet performance of 7 points on 2-of-7 shooting, along with 3 rebounds and 1 steal.
Leading by only 3 points, 22-19, at the end of the opening frame, the Grouses shifted into high gear in the second quarter and extended their lead to double figures, 47-32, at halftime.
The Grouses never looked back in the second half as they even stretched their advantage to as many as 23 points, 77-54, with 7 minutes to play in the payoff period.
Brice Johnson led the way for Toyama with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Joshua Smith and Julian Mavunga chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Thomas Kennedy topscored for Hiroshima with 11 points, while Naoto Tsuji, Charles Jackson, and Nick Mayo all tallied 10 markers.
Toyama, which improved its record to 12-19, will look to make it two in a row against Hiroshima on Sunday, at 12:05 pm, Manila time.
Meanwhile, in Division 2, Kemark Cariño and the Aomori Wat’s dropped to the Koshigaya Alphas, 83-66, for their 13th straight loss.
Cariño once again did not see action for the Wat’s, who remained as the division’s worst team with a 2-29 record.
The Wat’s and the Alphas will go at it again on Sunday, at 1 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com