MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena had himself a triumphant return in the Japan B. League as the visiting San-En NeoPhoenix completed a thrilling 85-82 heist against the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins on Wednesday, March 9.
With the win, the NeoPhoenix snapped a two-game skid and rose up to a 6-30 record for the season, while the Dolphins, in their first game in more than a month, dropped to 21-10.
Ravena only played 12 minutes as the ninth man off the bench following a homecoming stint with Gilas Pilipinas, but still chipped in 12 points on a near-perfect 5-of-6 shooting and 1 rebound, albeit with 5 turnovers.
Ray Parks, meanwhile, quietly added 9 markers, 6 boards, and 1 assist in 19 minutes.
Off a 77-all tie with less than two minutes left, Yoshiyuki Matsuwaki drilled a clutch corner three to give San-En an 80-77 lead with just 58 ticks left.
Import Robert Carter then dictated the flow of the endgame as he sank two crucial charities with 30 seconds left for an 82-79 edge, and denied one last Nagoya comeback with a huge inbounds steal in the next possession.
Elias Harris then sealed the deal with two more shots from the line for an 84-79 lead with just 24 ticks left in regulation. He led all scorers with 26 points on a stellar 10-of-15 clip and 6-of-8 off free throws on top of 10 rebounds.
Matsuwaki tallied 17 markers in the rare win, while former NBA player Shayne Whittington led the Dolphins’ balanced attack with 13 points and 9 boards in 21 minutes.
Meanwhile, the same thrilling sequences were not found at all over at the Kawasaki Todoroki Arena, where the Kawasaki Brave Thunders obliterated the Shiga Lakestars by 47 points, 103-56.
Kiefer Ravena sat out the entire fourth quarter as one of the most lopsided B. League games this season was practically decided. He got silenced to just 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists on 2-of-9 shooting in 21 minutes after four straight double-digit scoring outings.
It was a no contest from the start as Kawasaki turned a 22-7 first-quarter blitz to an eyesore 44-9 pileup midway through the second period off a huge 22-2 run.
Despite a decisive 53-16 first-half lead, the Thunders still refused to tone down their onslaught and peaked with a 52-point separation, 99-47, with just 2:43 left in the final frame.
Jordan Heath led the wire-to-wire decimation with 24 points and 10 rebounds in a team-high 26 minutes, while Matt Janning and Satoru Maeta chipped in 12 markers apiece.
Imports Novar Gadson and Sean O’mara dragged the Lakestars with just 13 and 12 points, respectively, as Shiga only shot 31% from the field, just nearly half of Kawasaki’s elite 59% clip.
Division 1 teams will take a short break this weekend, and will return next Wednesday, March 16, for another surge of league-wide 6:05 pm games, Manila time. – Rappler.com