By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Ilonggo Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena III and the San-en NeoPhoenix pulled off a 96-94 escape over the Chiba Jets in the Japan B.League Division 1 at the Funabashi Arena on New Year’s Day.
The former Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles standout earned another start for the NeoPhoenix and finished with 11 points, six assists, three rebounds, and two steals in 23 minutes.
Coty Clarke led the way with 32 points, including two three-pointers, to go with five rebounds, three steals and two assists, while Yante Maten, Kosuke Kanamaru and David Dudzinski had 13, 12 and 11, respectively, as San-en moved up to 22-4.
Yuki Togashi top-scored with 25 points, D.J. Stephens and John Mooney added 20 and 19 markers, respectively, while Sota Okura and Xavier Cooks had 11 and 10 as the Jets dropped to 13-13.
Meanwhile, Dwight Ramos and the Levanga Hokkaido (8-18) also completed a weekend sweep of the Toyama Grouses (3-23) with an 88-81 triumph at the Hokkai Kita-yale.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay, who recently scored his 1,000th point in the Japan B.League, posted seven points, one rebound, one assist, and one steal in 23 minutes of action for Hokkaido.
“With our scheduled matches to start the New Year against top teams, these back-to-back wins against Toyama were not just a winning streak, but a winning streak that will be valuable for the future,” Levanga head coach Ryutaro Onodera said.
In Division 2 action, Roosevelt Adams had a near double-double performance as the Yamagata Wyverns pulled off an 85-83 escape over the Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka at the Teriha Sekisui House Arena.
The former PBA top-overall pick finished with 12 points, including three outside conversions, to go with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals as the Wyverns improved to a 15-13 record.
James Bell top-scored for the Wyverns with 28 points, with three outside connections, to go with seven assists and five rebounds, while Ryusei Abe added 10 points and two rebounds./ASC, WDJ