Japan B. League

Thirdy Ravena flips script on bro Kiefer as San-en downs Shiga in OT revenge

JR Isaga
Thirdy Ravena flips script on bro Kiefer as San-en downs Shiga in OT revenge

ALL EVEN. Thirdy Ravena quickly exacts revenge on his older brother Kiefer in Japan action.


It's a reversal of fortunes for the Ravena brothers as Thirdy's San-en NeoPhoenix rally from an 18-point hole to win in overtime over Kiefer's Shiga Lakestars

Japan B. League Pinoy pioneer Thirdy Ravena refused to once again roll over for his brother Kiefer as the San-en NeoPhoenix outlasted the Shiga Lakestars home team in a 101-96 overtime thriller on Sunday, October 3.

After being limited to 11 points on 14 shots the day prior, Thirdy cranked up the efficiency in the rematch, and soared to a game-high 21 points to go with 7 rebounds and 5 assists on a 3-of-6 clip from three.

The younger Ravena picked his spots more carefully this time, and helped San-en practically close the deal in overtime with a wide-open corner three for the 97-89 lead at the 2:22 mark.

Both teams played the free-throw game until the very end, but the NeoPhoenix refused to budge as they sank their last four freebies to steer clear of the Shiga comeback attempt.

International imports Elias Harris and Robert Carter backstopped Thirdy in the hard-earned victory with 18 and 17 points apiece, while local guard Shota Tsuyama added 14 markers in just 20 minutes.

“I feel good. There were a lot of emotions in those two days. Opening week of the B. League, it just shows how this league is tough with many talents,” said San-en head coach Branislav Vicentic.

“Yesterday, we struggled. Today, in my eyes, was the same game, but we switched positions.”

It was indeed a reversal of fortunes for the two teams as last Saturday, the Lakestars stormed back from 22 points down late in the third quarter, and 13 down entering the fourth, to win their first game, 93-83. (READ: Kiefer wins first Ravena battle as Shiga deals Thirdy’s San-en late stunner)

On Sunday, meanwhile, it was Shiga’s turn to experience the brunt of a comeback rally as the NeoPhoenix rose from an 18-point hole, 33-51, in the closing moments of the first half, before ultimately forcing overtime at 85-all.

San-en then opened the extra period on a 7-0 run, and that was all the breathing room they needed to keep Shiga down in an endgame they tightly protected this time around.

Amid the losing effort, Kiefer stayed on point with his role, as he led the Lakestars with 20 points and 7 dimes on a 3-of-5 clip from downtown with 9-of-9 free throws.

Fellow import Ovie Soko likewise had a team-high 20 markers built off a 12-of-14 clip from the line and 12 rebounds.

Shiga will have a shot at redemption next Saturday, 4:05 pm, as they face the Ibaraki Robots, still likely without Gilas Pilipinas prospect Javi Gomez de Liaño due to quarantine protocols.

San-en, meanwhile, will aim to build momentum that same day at 5:05 pm with a win against Pinoy high-flyer Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB.

The Scores

San-en 101 – Ravena 21, Harris 18, Carter 17, Tsuyama 14, Tsuya 7, Knox 7, Yamauchi 6, Matsuwaki 4, Tawatari 4, Sugiura 3, Ota 0, Okada 0.

Shiga 96 – Ravena 20, Soko 20, O’mara 19, Nomoto 14, Gadson 10, Kashiwagura 7, Shibuta 4, Moriyama 2, Hayashi 0, Ozawa 0, Imagawa 0, Kawamata 0.

Quarters: 16-27, 36-51, 66-72, 85-85 (reg.), 101-96 (OT).

– Rappler.com