MANILA, Philippines – The Gunma Crane Thunders exacted revenge on the Toyama Grouses as they ended the Christmas weekend with a 95-90 road heist on Sunday, December 26.
Dwight Ramos continued his stretch of quiet performances and finished with just 4 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal, and a brutal plus-minus of -22 in 20 minutes.
However, the Gilas Pilipinas prospect still had the full trust of his coaches as he was tasked to tie the game up from a 90-93 deficit with 7.1 seconds left.
Unfortunately, Ramos missed his game-tying trey from the right wing off their final timeout, resulting in a quick foul and a pair of game-winning free throws from Gunma import Trey Jones.
Jones led the back and forth game of runs with 26 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds on 8-of-16 shooting and 4-of-8 from deep.
On the other hand, top import Julian Mavunga paced Toyama with 21 markers, 6 boards, and 4 dimes, but somehow had a worse plus-minus than Ramos at a staggering -33 in the five-point loss.
The 8-15 Grouses can end the year on a high note if they earn an upset win against the defending champion Chiba Jets on Wednesday, December 29, at 2:05 pm (Manila time).
Over in Division 2, the Aomori Wat’s bottomed out with a humiliating 36-93 home loss to the Saga Ballooners.
Gilas project big man Kemark Cariño tallied just 1 rebound and 1 steal in 5 minutes of action for Aomori, which remained at the bottom of the division with a 2-23 record.
The hapless Wat’s will shoot for their third win of the season when they face the Rising Zephyr Fukuoka on Sunday, January 2, at 1 pm.
Lastly, Juan Gomez de Liaño was still nowhere to be found for the seventh straight game as the Earthfriends Tokyo Z absorbed a 70-97 beating at home against division kings Fighting Eagles Nagoya.
The Gilas prospect guard last played against Cariño and the Wat’s on December 4 before being taken out of the lineup in the rematch the very next day.
The team then announced on December 9 that an unnamed player tested positive for COVID-19 and three more unnamed teammates were tagged as close contacts. – Rappler.com