By Adrian Stewart Co
Ilonggo Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena III and the San-En NeoPhoenix have ended the year on a sour note after suffering its third consecutive defeat in the 2020-21 Japan B.League.
The NeoPhoenix were listless against the Akita Northern Happinets on Sunday afternoon after being held to just six points in the second period en route to a lopsided 85-53 defeat at the CNA Arena Akita in Akita, Japan.
The NeoPhoenix was still hanging around in the opening quarter before struggling heavily in the second period against the blazing offense of Northern Happinets to build a 42-25 halftime lead.
It was all Northern Happinets since then as the NeoPhoenix failed to find an answer to Akita’s potent offense as it shot a measly 33-percent from the field, against Akita’s 52-percent field goal shooting.
Stevan Jelovac finished with 17 points, seven boards, and two assists as the NeoPhoenix dropped to a 5-20 record to remain at ninth place in the Western Conference standings.
Filipino import Ravena struggled on offense as he finished with five points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Kyle Hunt was also a disappointment as he finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
Noboru Hasegawa spearheaded the scoring for the Northern Happinets with 16 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from three-point arc, to rise to a 16-9 win-loss card.
Alex Davis chipped in 12 points, four blocks, and three assists, while Kadeem Coleby and Takeshi Tada both tallied 10 points each in the Akita win.
The NeoPhoenix will be hoping to ring in the new year with better performances as they start 2021 on the road in a two-game series against Sun Rockers Shibuya (17-8) at Aoyama Gakuin Memorial Hall next weekend.