Japan B. League

Ravenas limited in New Year’s blowouts as Kiefer battles ankle tweak

JR Isaga
Ravenas limited in New Year’s blowouts as Kiefer battles ankle tweak

INJURY SCARE. Kiefer Ravena returns to the floor after hurting his ankle.


Kiefer Ravena shrugs off an injury before fouling out for the first time in his B. League career, while his younger brother Thirdy puts up his usual numbers

MANILA, Philippines – The Shiga Lakestars opened the new year on a losing note in the Japan B. League as the visiting Akita Northern Happinets rode a strong second half for a 94-77 blowout on Sunday, January 2.

Kiefer Ravena had a quiet game to kick off 2022, as he finished with just 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 turnovers while battling an ankle tweak he suffered early in the second quarter.

Despite the injury scare, the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart showed his grit in front of the home fans, checked back after just four minutes on the bench, and helped keep the Akita lead to just 6 at the half, 41-35.

However, Ravena’s effort to keep playing went all for naught quickly at the turn of the third quarter as the Happinets broke away with a big 17-3 run to turn a 47-41 lead to a 64-44 gap with 3:33 left.

To make matters worse for the Lakestars, their Filipino lead guard fouled out for the first time in his B. League career right in the middle of a Shiga comeback attempt with 7:50 still left to play in the final frame.

Without Ravena leading the offense, the home team collapsed one last time as the Happinets wrapped up with a 19-9 run for the 92-74 lead with just 1:18 left to play.

Four Akita players scored a team-high 14 points in the balanced attack, namely forwards Jordan Glynn and Alex Davis, local guard Takatoshi Furukawa, and team captain Takuya Nakayama.

On the losing end, top Shiga import Ovie Soko led the way with 23 markers, and 9 rebounds, while fellow reinforcements Novar Gadson and Sean O’mara added 18 and 16 points, respectively.

It remains to be seen whether Ravena will be at full health for the 9-16 Lakestars in the Monday, January 3 rematch at 1:35 pm, Manila time.

Meanwhile, Thirdy Ravena also had a new year kickoff game to forget as the powerhouse Kawasaki Brave Thunders humiliated the visiting San-En NeoPhoenix, 103-71.

The younger Ravena put up his usual numbers in the rout with 10 points, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 rebound in 25 minutes, but his outing easily got dwarfed by Kawasaki’s 27-9 fourth-quarter onslaught that peaked with a 34-point lead, 103-69.

Six Brave Thunders finished with double-digit scoring in the dominant home stand, led by B. League veteran Nick Fazekas’ 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists in just 21 minutes.

Import Elias Harris tied Fazekas with a game-high 20 markers on 9-of-13 shooting as the NeoPhoenix fizzled down to a horrid 4-21 record.

Ravena and San-En will have another tough challenge ahead of them in the Monday rematch at 3:05 pm. – Rappler.com