MANILA, Philippines – The defending Japan B. League champion Chiba Jets set up a rude welcome back for San-En NeoPhoenix import Thirdy Ravena as they pulled away late for a 101-89 road win on Saturday, December 11.
In his return from a two-game suspension, Ravena showed off with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in just under 25 minutes, but his line simply wasn’t enough to stop San-En from skidding to a nine-game losing streak with a 3-14 record.
The NeoPhoenix actually had a fighting chance at the start of the fourth quarter, when local guard Yoshiyuki Matsuwaki drilled an early triple to inch within three, 68-71, with 8:53 left in regulation.
However, that was as near as they would get as the Jets zoomed ahead with a game-clinching 16-5 run, capped by three straight long bombs by import Josh Duncan for the sudden 87-73 lead at the 4:33 mark.
Duncan quickly put the finishing touches with 3:36 left after one final three-point play, his 14th straight point for the 90-76 gap, as Chiba retained an East District-leading 13-4 record.
Duncan, who previously averaged just 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds, went completely unhindered in this game with a massive 36-marker, 14-board double-double with 7 assists, and no turnovers to boot.
Fellow reinforcement John Mooney backstopped his eruption with a huge 28-point, 19-rebound double-double of his own, while San-En import Robert Carter paced yet another loss with 24 markers, 6 boards, and 6 dimes.
Ravena and the rest of the NeoPhoenix can prevent a double-digit losing skid with an upset win in the Sunday, December 12 rematch at 1:05 pm, Manila time.
Chiba 101 – Duncan 36, Mooney 28, Akaho 15, Togashi 7, Nishimura 6, Sato 5, Hara 2, Smith 2, Omiya 0, Fujinaga 0, Rashid 0.
San-En 89 – Carter 24, Ravena 15, Knox 14, Tsuya 14, Matsuwaki 8, Sugiura 5, Tsuyama 5, Ota 4, Yamauchi 0.
Quarters: 24-25, 45-37, 68-65, 101-89.