MANILA, Philippines – The Shiga Lakestars ended their brief return to the winners’ circle in the Japan B. League as the Yokohama B-Corsairs snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 98-85 revenge blowout on Sunday, December 19.
One day after an 11-game skid-stopping win, the Lakestars then dropped to 7-14 in the standings despite Kiefer Ravena continuing his hot run with 22 points, 8 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal.
It was a doomed home game from the very start for Shiga as its gave up a huge 16-1 start to Yokohama with 5:16 left in the first quarter.
From there, the Lakestars failed to return within a single-digit deficit until the 7:17 mark of the third quarter, when import Novar Gadson sank an and-one layup to get within eight, 44-52.
Although Gadson and Ravena conspired to threaten Yokohama within four, 52-56, that would ultimately be the nearest point they could get to for the rest of the game.
As the Lakestars again pulled within four, 77-81, midway through the final frame, the wary B-Corsairs shored up their defense, and sealed the deal with one last 10-0 pull-away for the 91-77 gap at the three-minute mark.
Yokohama import Leyton Hammonds led the wire-to-wire win with 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while Gadson paced Shiga’s multiple failed comeback attempts with a 27-marker, 11-rebound double-double.
Ravena and Shiga can avert a new losing streak with holiday weekend wins against the freefalling Niigata Albirex BB featuring Pinoy prospect Kobe Paras on Saturday and Sunday, December 25 and 26.
While Shiga finally ended its search for a win last Saturday, the San-En NeoPhoenix’s quest for victory continued after the Osaka Evessa secured the weekend sweep with an 86-75 road win.
Thirdy Ravena stuffed the stat sheet in his team’s 13th straight loss as he finished with 10 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal in 28 minutes.
However, the pioneer Pinoy import’s efforts were quickly put in vain as Osaka mounted a 20-7 second quarter run to turn a 28-all first quarter shootout to a 48-35 lead at the half.
The NeoPhoenix never recovered their offensive mojo from that halftime blitz as the Evessa eventually peaked with a 21-point lead, 86-65, with 3:16 left in the fourth period.
Osaka import DJ Newbill followed up his 32-point eruption with a full line of 25 markers, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists, backstopped by local guard Hiromu Nakamura’s 16 points off the bench.
San-En reinforcement Robert Carter carried the load in yet another loss with a 21-point, 12-board double-double as fellow import Justin Knox disappeared with just 6 markers plus 5 turnovers.
Ravena and the NeoPhoenix can rise again next weekend as they face the Seahorses Mikawa. – Rappler.com