Japan B. League

Kiefer Ravena, Shiga fall to top-ranked Ryukyu as Kobe Paras, Niigata lose anew

JR Isaga
Kiefer Ravena, Shiga fall to top-ranked Ryukyu as Kobe Paras, Niigata lose anew

SKIDDING AGAIN. Kiefer Ravena keeps up his great individual streak while his Shiga Lakestars continue their losing slide.

Japan B. League

Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras, and Kemark Cariño all lose their respective B. League games as Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, and Matt Aquino stay out after their national team stints

MANILA, Philippines – The Ryukyu Golden Kings reasserted their dominance at the Japan B. League as they won their 18th straight game at the expense of Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars, 98-84, on Saturday, March 5.

Ravena continued his productive stretch with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting, to go with 9 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals, but the Lakestars still started a new two-game losing streak as they fell to a 10-20 record for the season.

Shiga remained well within control in the third quarter when import Sean O’mara tied things up at 48-all with 6:25 remaining. However, Ryukyu captain Ryuichi Kishimoto started a three-point barrage, which ended up being a pivotal 19-4 run for the 67-52 lead with 3:11 left.

That was all the momentum the Kings needed to dictate the tempo in the final frame, as they peaked with a 24-point gap, 90-66, off a Dwayne Evans dunk with 5:48 left in regulation.

Evans led the win with a 26-point, 11-rebound double-double, while longtime PBA import Allen Durham cruised to an easy 12 markers and 13 boards in just 24 minutes.

Fresh off a 41-point explosion, Shiga import Novar Gadson led all scorers with 28 points, while O’mara chipped in 13 markers in 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Akita Northern Happinets improved to a 21-12 record after blowing out the hapless Niigata Albirex BB at home, 92-76.

Kobe Paras showed up with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block in 25 minutes, but his numbers were not enough to stop Niigata from falling to a 5-30 record.

Off a competitive first half, the Happinets quickly turned the game on its head with a 21-8 third-quarter start that turned a 53-45 halftime lead to a sudden 21-point gap, 74-53, with 3:21 left in the frame.

Niigata only got within 11, 73-84, late in the fourth quarter, before Akita shut the game down for good.

Jordan Glynn led all scorers in the win with 23 markers in 23 minutes, while NBA champion center Jeff Ayres paced the Albirex with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Over at Division 2, the Aomori Wat’s dropped their 19th straight game for a putrid 2-34 record after the Ehime Orange Vikings cruised to an 85-69 win.

Kemark Cariño did nothing but clobber bodies as he fouled out in 12 minutes of action with just 1 turnover, and no other stats for the Wat’s.

Finally, back in Division 1, the Ibaraki Robots dropped to a 7-28 slate as the 8-27 Kyoto Hannaryz snapped a four-game skid with an 86-81 win.

Javi Gomez de Liaño remained in Ibaraki’s active roster, but was once again nailed to the bench all game long.

Ray Parks was also unable to play as the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins’ game against the defending champion Chiba Jets got postponed.

Meanwhile, Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, and Matt Aquino have yet to return to their squads after their respective national team stints in the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers. – Rappler.com