The moment has come for San-en NeoPhoenix to field a complete lineup on its home court with Thirdy Ravena rounding out their roster.
And it will be another special encounter for Ravena as he faces former San Miguel Beermen import and Japan national team player Ira Brown, who plays for visiting team Osaka Evessa.
Though they have never met on court, his brother Kiefer has played against Brown in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers when the Philippines was bunched with Japan in both the first and second rounds.
The American-Japanese currently averages 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the league.
Just like how the Filipino stalwart impressed in his professional basketball debut in the Japan B. League last Saturday, November 7, Ravena hopes to provide the cellar-dwelling team’s needed boost. (READ:Thirdy Ravena a game-changer, says San-en NeoPhoenix coach)
Ravena and San-en will meet Evessa on Wednesday, November 11, 6:05 pm, Philippine time, with the hopes of bouncing back from their loss against Shimane.
Playing in just two games, Ravena boasts impressive averages, norming 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists, despite only getting back to the 5-on-5 game for the first time in 8 months due to the Philippines’ community quarantine restrictions. (FAST FACTS: Thirdy Ravena’s historic stint in the Japan B. League)
In the last completed season of the B. League, Evessa held a winning 26-15 record compared to San-en’s lackluster 5-36 record.
But despite the high expectations, the Osaka-based squad is currently ranked 6th in the B. League’s West Conference with a 4-8 record.
Evessa lost 4 of its last 5 games and seeks to put an end to the drought with a win against the home team currently carrying a 2-10 card.
Aside from Brown, Osaka is reinforced by American center Dj Newbill who is expected to go head-to-head with San-en’s towering Serbian Stevan Jelovac. – Rappler.com