Japan B. League

Thirdy drops 18 but Ravena brothers absorb twin blowout losses

Martin Mendoza
Thirdy drops 18 but Ravena brothers absorb twin blowout losses

BIG NUMBERS. Thirdy Ravena flirts with a double-double.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

Thirdy Ravena continues his stellar play for the San-En NeoPhoenix while his older brother Kiefer struggles for the Shiga Lakestars

MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena continued his stellar play for the San-En NeoPhoenix, but it wasn’t enough to lead his team to an upset as they bowed to the Ryukyu Golden Kings, 101-69, in the Japan B. League on Wednesday, December 29, at the Toyohashi City Gymnasium.

Ravena, who delivered an all-around performance in their previous outing, finished with a near double-double of 18 points and 8 rebounds, to go with 1 assist and 1 steal for the NeoPhoenix, who failed to capture their second straight win and dropped to 4-20 in the standings.

After trailing by only 9 points, 12-21, at the end of the first frame, the NeoPhoenix failed to match the Golden Kings’ blazing offense in the second quarter as they were outscored by 21 points, 32-11, for a comfortable 53-23 cushion at halftime. 

The NeoPhoenix never recovered in the second half as the top-ranked Golden Kings even pushed their advantage to as many as 44 points, 87-43, early in the final period.

Three-time PBA best import Allen Durham led Ryukyu’s charge with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Koh Flippin and Jack Cooley chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Robert Carter topscored for San-En with 21 points, while Elias Harris added 12 markers.

The NeoPhoenix, though, will look to pull off an upset when they go up against the No. 3 Kawasaki Brave Thunders on Sunday, January 2 at 5:05 pm, Manila time.

Just like San-En, Kiefer Ravena’s Shiga Lakestars suffered a 92-67 beatdown at the hands of the Hiroshima Dragonflies at the Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall.

However, in contrast to his younger brother Thirdy’s performance, Kiefer struggled offensively in the 25-point loss as he put up just 8 points on 2-of-11 shooting, 1 rebound, 4 assists, and a team-high 5 turnovers for the Lakestars, who ended a short two-game win streak and moved down to 9-15 in the standings. 

Down by also just 9 points, 20-29, at the end of the opening period, the Lakestars failed to keep in step with the Dragonflies in the second frame as the latter built a 16-point advantage at the half, 51-35.

Shiga managed to cut the deficit back to 9, 65-74, with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter, before Hiroshima unleashed another furious 11-0 rally to stretch its lead to 20, 85-65, and put the Lakestars away for good.

Thomas Kennedy came up with 23 points for Hiroshima in the victory, while Nick Mayo contributed a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Sean O’mara had his own double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds for Shiga in the losing effort, while Ovie Soko tallied 12 markers.

The Lakestars hope to start the new year on a high note as they face the Akita Northern Happinets on Sunday, also at 5:05 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com