By Adrian Stewart Co
Ilonggo Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena III and the San-En NeoPhoenix are finally winners again in the 2021-2022 Japan B.League after dropping their previous 14 matches.
Ravena and the NeoPhoenix caught a big fish when they arrested two month-long losing skid after taking down the favored Mikawa Seahorses on Sunday afternoon at the Wing Arena.
The NeoPhoenix seemed headed to another defeat as they were down 60-55 in the fourth quarter before unloading a 13-2 scoring blast behind Elias Harris to take a 68-62 advantage.
Yudai Nishida and Satoshi Nagano tried to carry the Seahorses back in the match but NeoPhoenix leaned on crucial free throws by Harris and Justin Knox to finally taste a victory anew.
Knox top-scored for the NeoPhoenix with 20 points and nine rebounds, Harris added 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals as Yushiyuki Matsuwaki got 17 points.
Ravena, for his part, was limited on offense with 11 points to go with four rebounds, four assists, and a steal as the NeoPhoenix got back on the winning track with their 4-19 win-loss record.
Jarrod Uthoff paced the Seahorses (13-10) with 26 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Nishida and Davante Gardner chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Thirdy’s elder brother Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars, meanwhile, cruised to its second straight victory following a 90-77 rout of Kobe Paras and Niigata Albirex BB at the Ukaru-chan Arena.
Kiefer finished the game with eight points and 10 assists as the Lakestars completed a two-game weekend sweep of the slumping Niigata to improve to 9-14 win-loss record. Paras, meanwhile, was benched in the match.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr., for his part, has 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals as Nagoya Diamond Dolphins defeated Kyoto, 87-73, for their seventh consecutive win./ASC, WDJ