Japan B. League

Thirdy, San-En repeat over Parks, Nagoya; Kai suffers heartbreaker to Edu-less Toyama

Martin Mendoza

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Thirdy, San-En repeat over Parks, Nagoya; Kai suffers heartbreaker to Edu-less Toyama

DEFENSIVE STANCE. San-En guard Thirdy Ravena in action in the Japan B. League.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix stretch their winning streak to six games, while Kai Sotto and the Yokohama B-Corsairs fail to make it two wins in a row in the Japan B. League

MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix continued their winning ways in the Japan B. League as they repeated over Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, 80-74, at the Dolphins Arena on Sunday, January 7. 

Ravena, who sent social media into a frenzy on Saturday, January 6, following his ferocious one-handed poster slam on Nagoya’s Seiga Sakamoto, put up another solid performance and was one of four San-En players to breach double-digit scoring with 13 points.

After leading all scorers with 25 markers on Saturday, Ravena flaunted his passing skills this time and dished out a game-high 7 assists, along with 3 rebounds and 1 steal in a team-best 32 minutes and 49 seconds of play.  

Ravena’s fellow import Yante Maten showed the way for San-En with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while David Dudzinski and Kosuke Kanamaru produced 13 and 11 markers, respectively. 

With their sixth straight win, the red-hot NeoPhoenix improved their record further to 24-4 and remained tied with the Alvark Tokyo at the No. 1 spot of the Division 1 standings. 

Parks, who reached the 1,000-point milestone in the B. League on Saturday, had a forgettable showing for Nagoya in the loss, scoring just 2 points on a dismal 1-of-8 field goal clip, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in over 22 minutes of action.

Scott Eatherton led the Dolphins – who slid to 16-12 – with 19 points and 10 rebounds. 

Meanwhile, Kai Sotto and the Yokohama B-Corsairs failed to make it two wins in a row after absorbing a heartbreaking 70-68 loss to the AJ Edu-less Toyama Grouses at the Toyama City Gymnasium. 

With Toyama holding a precarious two-point advantage, 70-68, off two clutch free throws by Ivan Buva, Yokohama had a golden opportunity to win it all in the final possession, but Devin Oliver’s potential game-winning triple failed to hit the mark at the buzzer. 

Sotto only played a total of 8 minutes and 19 seconds in the first half and never returned the rest of the way due to an apparent ankle sprain. 

He had 6 points on 3-of-5 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and a team-high plus-minus of +17 before exiting the game. 

Buva paced the Grouses (4-24) in their two-point escape with 16 points, while Yuki Kawamura carried the scoring cudgels for the B-Corsairs (12-16) in the losing cause with 19 markers. 

Elsewhere, Matthew Wright became the fifth and the fastest Filipino import to hit 1,000 points in the B. League after pouring in 13 markers in the Kyoto Hannaryz’s 83-76 loss to the Chiba Jets at the Kataoka Arena Kyoto on Sunday.

In just his 80th game in the Land of the Rising Sun, Wright, the second-year Kyoto guard, joined Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, Dwight Ramos, and Parks as the first five Filipino players to accomplish the scoring feat. 

Kyoto, however, fell to 8-20 following the weekend sweep at the hands of Chiba. 

Similar to Sotto’s Yokohama and Wright’s Kyoto, RJ Abarrientos’ Shinshu Brave Warriors (5-23) and Dwight Ramos’ Levanga Hokkaido (8-20) couldn’t get over the hump on Sunday. 

Abarrientos racked up 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in Shinshu’s 92-64 loss to the Nagasaki Velca at the Nagasaki Prefectural Gymnasium.

Ramos, meanwhile, was limited to only 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in Hokkaido’s 92-61 defeat versus the Sunrockers Shibuya at the Aoyama Gakuin Memorial Hall.

Finally, Carl Tamayo provided quality minutes in the Ryukyu Golden Kings’ 88-65 thrashing of the Fighting Eagles Nagoya.

Tamayo came up with 9 points on a near-perfect 4-of-5 clip from the field and 1 rebound in just 7 minutes and 32 seconds of playing time for the defending champion Ryukyu, which hiked its record to 20-8. – Rappler.com 

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