Japan B. League

Back to B1: Kiefer, Shiga advance to finals, return to top division 

Martin Mendoza

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Back to B1: Kiefer, Shiga advance to finals, return to top division 

KEY COG. Shiga Lakes guard Kiefer Ravena in Japan B. League action.


Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakes hit two birds with one stone as they punch a ticket to the B2 finals and secure a spot back to B1 in the Japan B. League

MANILA, Philippines – Back where they belong. 

Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakes advanced to the B2 finals of the Japan B. League after crushing Roosevelt Adams and the Yamagata Wyverns, 97-74, in Game 2 of their best-of-three semifinal series on Sunday, May 12.

With the win, the Lakes not only punched a ticket to the finals, but also secured a spot back to the league’s top division, the B1, for the 2024-2025 season. 

Shiga was relegated to B2 this season after a second to the last finish in B1 last year. The Lakes and the Koshigaya Alphas – who they will face in the finals – will trade places with RJ Abarrientos’ Shinshu Brave Warriors and AJ Edu’s Toyama Grouses next season. 

Fresh from a 22-point performance in their 91-86 Game 1 win on Saturday, May 11, Kiefer delivered an all-around stat line of 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block.

Yamagata had no answers for Kiefer’s fellow Shiga import Brock Motum, who dropped a game-high 28 points on an ultra-efficient 12-of-15 shooting. 

On the other side, Adams, the No. 1 pick by the Terrafirma Dyip in the 2019 PBA Draft, led the charge for the Wyverns with 17 points on 6-of-11 field goal clip, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal. 

The best-of-three championship series between Shiga and Koshigaya will kick off on Saturday, May 18.

In B1, Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins clinched a semifinal spot following an 84-75 Game 2 win against the Seahorses Mikawa in their best-of-three quarterfinal showdown. 

After going scoreless in Game 1 on Saturday, Parks had 5 points on 2-of-4 shooting this time, together with 1 assist in 9 minutes of playing time. 

Unlike Kiefer’s Shiga and Parks’ Nagoya, Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix’s dream season came to a heartbreaking end on Sunday after falling to the Hiroshima Dragonflies anew, 69-66, in the second game of their B1 quarterfinal matchup.

Thirdy was one of two San-En players to score in double figures with 13 points on 5-of-10 clip from the field, along with 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.

Thirdy, the longest-tenured Filipino import in the B. League, wrapped up his historic fourth season with San-En with a career-best scoring average of 12.4 points in 59 games played. – Rappler.com

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