Thirdy Ravena had the last laugh against his best friend Kobe Paras as the San-En NeoPhoenix exacted revenge over the Niigata Albirex BB with a thrilling 85-82 home win in the Japan B. League on Sunday, October 10.
After feeling the brunt of a 13-point loss, 64-77, last Saturday, Ravena held down his own turf, and finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
On the other hand, Paras got clamped after a 21-point outing on Saturday, and tallied just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Following a late tie at 67-all in the final half of the fourth quarter, San-En import Robert Carter sank the go-ahead and-one play at the 4:20 mark for the 70-67 lead, which the NeoPhoenix calmly held on to until the final buzzer.
Niigata top reinforcement Rosco Allen managed to inch within two, 80-82, off a late triple with 12 ticks left, but Carter flexed poise at the line right afterwards with two game-sealing free throws at the 10-second mark for the 84-80 lead.
Carter led San-En in the thrilling finish with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Allen led all scorers in the losing cause with game-highs of 24 markers and 15 rebounds.
San-En will try to keep up its momentum heading to next weekend with a back-to-back slate against the Hiroshima Dragonflies on Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17.
Niigata, on the other hand, will try to bounce back in their own weekend double dates with the Hokkaido Levanga.
San-En 85 – Carter 22, Ravena 13, Knox 11, Harris 11, Matsuwaki 10, Tsuyama 9, Tawatari 4, Yamauchi 3, Sugiura 2, Okada 0, Tsuya 0.
Niigata 82 – Allen 24, Ayres 14, Nephawe 12, Paras 11, Sato 8, Nohmi 7, Endo 5, Okamoto 1, Hoshino 0, Watanuki 0, Ikeda 0.
Quarters: 24-20, 40-35, 59-50, 85-82.