Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars absorbed their second straight loss as they fell to the defending champion Chiba Jets, 99-88, in the Japan B. League on Saturday, November 6 at the Funabashi Arena.
In a highly anticipated matchup against top Japanese point guard Yuki Togashi, Ravena finished with a game-high 9 assists, along with 14 points and 2 steals in the losing effort as the Lakestars dropped to 6-4 in the standings.
On the other hand, Togashi, the 2018-2019 B. League MVP, came up with 10 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds as the Jets improved their record to 7-3.
Leading by 1, 25-24, at the end of the opening period, Ravena and the Lakestars failed to sustain their momentum as they were outscored by the Jets in the second quarter, 30-20, for a 54-45 lead at halftime.
With the Jets leading by as many as 14, 79-65, at the start of the fourth quarter, Ravena’s offense came alive, scoring 9 of his 14 points in the opening minutes of the final frame to help the Lakestars cut the deficit to just 5, 89-84, with 3:51 left to play in the game.
However, the Jets went on another furious 10-2 run to put their lead back to 13 with less than a minute remaining, 99-86, which put the Lakestars away for good.
Christopher Smith led the way for the Jets with 26 points, while John Mooney put up a huge double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds in the win.
Ovie Soko topscored for the Lakestars with 28 points to go with 8 rebounds, while Sean O’mara chipped in 17 markers and 12 boards.
Ravena and the Lakestars will look to bounce back against the Jets as they tangle once again on Sunday, November 7 at 2:05 pm, Manila time.
Chiba 99 – Smith 26, Mooney 15, Sato 15, Edwards 14, Duncan 11, Togashi 10, Nishimura 3, Fujinaga 3, Hara 2, Akaho 0, Rashid 0.
Shiga 88 – Soko 28, O’mara 17, Ravena 14, Hayashi 8, Shibuta 7, Gadson 5, Moriyama 5, Nomoto 4, Kashiwagura 0, Ozawa 0, Kawamata 0.
Quarters: 25-24, 54-45, 79-65, 99-88.