Japan B. League

Kobe, Niigata dominate Thirdy, San-En in 1st match since UAAP days

JR Isaga
Kobe, Niigata dominate Thirdy, San-En in 1st match since UAAP days

MUST WATCH. Kobe Paras proves his worth anew.

Japan B. League

Kobe Paras drops stellar numbers yet again as he powers Niigata Albirex past Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix

Kobe Paras and the visiting Niigata Albirex BB outgunned Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix in their first home game of the season, 77-64, in the Japan B. League on Saturday, October 9.

In the two Pinoy imports’ first matchup since their UAAP days, Paras showcased his all-around game with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 8-of-16 shooting and 4-of-10 from three.

Despite the home loss, Ravena was no slouch either, as he led the losing effort with 16 markers, 4 dimes, 2 boards, and 2 steals.

“I’m just happy I got to play against Thirdy. The last time we played was in college, and I really thought that was the last time we were gonna play against each other,” said Paras. “I’m just really happy that even here as pros, we got to play against each other.”

The grinded-out affair looked headed for an exciting finish after Ravena drilled back-to-back triples to help San-En mount an 11-3 rally, and force a one-possession gap against Niigata, 42-45, midway through the third quarter.

However, the Albirex reestablished control almost immediately with a 13-5 response, capped by a crafty Paras and-one finish for the 58-47 lead with 2:02 left in the quarter.

San-en last got within a single-digit deficit a few seconds from the start of the final frame, 53-61, before Niigata all but sealed the deal with a 12-5 run, ending with a Zen Endo dagger three at the 2:25 mark for the 15-point lead, 73-58.

Paras even snuck in a parting gift for the fans in the last 40 ticks of regulation with a steal and an emphatic one-handed slam to set the eventual final score, 77-64.

“I’m grateful for my teammates, for the Filipino fans who came here to support. We have a great coaching staff, so without them, I wouldn’t be able to play my game,” said Paras after the game.

“I’m just grateful for the whole Niigata community. Even though it’s an away game, we have a lot of fans out here too.”

International import Rosco Allen led all scorers with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Albirex, while former NBA champion Jeff Ayres chipped in 11 markers and 7 boards off the bench.

San-En’s international reinforcements, meanwhile, could not match Allen’s energy on both ends of the court as Robert Carter and Elias Harris only managed 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The NeoPhoenix will have one more chance to get even on their home floor with an Albirex rematch on Sunday, October 10, 1:05 pm.

The Scores

Niigata 77 – Allen 23, Paras 21, Nephawe 13, Ayres 11, Endo 6, Sato 2, Nohmi 1, Okamoto 0, Ohya 0, Watanuki 0, Ikeda 0.

San-en 64 – Ravena 16, Carter 12, Harris 11, Matsuwaki 6, Sugiura 5, Tsuyama 5, Tsuya 3, Knox 3, Yamauchi 3, Ota 0.

Quarters: 23-11, 42-31, 61-50, 77-64.

– Rappler.com