Japan B. League

Ravenas fall anew as Kawasaki denies Thirdy, San-En valiant stand

JR Isaga
Ravenas fall anew as Kawasaki denies Thirdy, San-En valiant stand

TOPNOTCH. Thirdy Ravena gives San-En a fighting chance.


Thirdy Ravena unloads a big 18-point, 12-rebound double-double even as San-En falls short, while his brother Kiefer also absorbs a tough loss

MANILA, Philippines – The Japan B. League powerhouse Kawasaki Brave Thunders bucked a scare from the visiting San-En NeoPhoenix as they secured a 78-68 home win on Monday, January 3.

Thirdy Ravena answered his team’s call for help after the loss of import Elias Harris, and finished with a big 18-point, 12-rebound double-double in 34 minutes.

However, the Gilas Pilipinas prospect’s great start and huge third-quarter scoring run were not enough to stop San-En from falling to a 4-22 record despite still leading by four, 60-56, midway through the fourth quarter.

As expected from Kawasaki, the veteran-laden Brave Thunders stayed composed in the face of a massive upset, and methodically tore up the NeoPhoenix defense with a game-sealing 16-4 run capped by a Nick Fazekas jumper, 72-64, with just 1:24 left to play.

Ravena sank two clutch free throws to keep the game within six, 66-72, with 44 seconds to go, but that gap was more than enough for Kawasaki to eventually hit the 20-win mark for the season with only six losses.

Kawasaki captain Yuma Fujii led the endgame charge with a game-high 20 points plus 5 rebounds and 5 assists, making up for Fazekas’ inefficient 16-marker outing on 6-of-20 shooting.

Robert Carter, San-En’s last international import standing, paced the tough loss with a game-high 20 points of his own with 11 boards, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 38 minutes.

Ravena and San-En will try to regroup as they face another rare Sunday-Monday back-to-back slate on January 9 and 10 against the Levanga Hokkaido.

Kiefer Ravena, meanwhile, didn’t have the same great outing his younger brother had as the Akita Northern Happinets again blew out the Shiga Lakestars, 92-67.

Playing on a tweaked ankle, the elder Ravena still recorded 26 minutes on the court, but only had 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists with 5 turnovers. Akita took advantage of this early on, and set the tone with a 22-7 start en route to a 28-14 first-quarter lead.

Although the Lakestars kept fighting to keep their deficit under single digits, 33-45, with 7:07 left in the third period, that was as close they would get as the Happinets pulled away for good with a 14-2 run for the 59-35 gap at the 3:18 mark.

The final frame did no favors for Shiga as Akita emphatically closed out the game with their biggest lead at 27 points, 92-65, with less than a minute left in regulation.

Import Jordan Glynn led the win with a game-high 23 points in just 26 minutes, while Novar Gadson led the losing cause with 16 markers, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists off the bench.

Shiga, now holding a 9-17 record, returns to action on Saturday, January 8, 2:05 pm, Manila time, against the struggling Seahorses Mikawa, which just lost to the bottom-dwelling Kyoto Hannaryz.

Over at Division 2, it is the same story for the Aomori Wat’s as the visiting Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka took care of business with a 91-60 beating.

Gilas project center Kemark Cariño had his usual low-end line of 2 points and 4 rebounds in just 4 minutes for the 2-26 Wat’s.

Aomori can snap its 10-game losing streak on Saturday, January 8 against the Kumamoto Volters at 4 pm. – Rappler.com