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