Kiefer Ravena delivered a spirited performance, but it was not enough to lift the Shiga Lakestars over the defending Japan B. League champions Chiba Jets as they lost 83-89 at the Funabashi Arena on Sunday (7 November).
The Filipino stalwart put up a masterful double-double line of 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, 10 assists and three steals. Still, his efforts went for naught as the Lakestars could not capsize the steady Chiba's steady ship.
Tied at 68-all in the fourth quarter, the Jets zoomed to a 78-71 lead on a 10-3 scoring spurt. Ravena then willed Shiga back into it, knocking to within three at 78-81 with less than five minutes left on the clock.
Chiba, however, showed championship composure from that point onwards, as Nishimura Fumio nailed the momentum-swinging plays to push the lead to 88-80, allowing the Jets to come away with a win.
Josh Duncan spearheaded the winning charge with a near double-double output of 18 points and nine rebounds, while Nishimura contributed 16 points and five assists.
John Mooney and Gavin Edwards pitched in 15 and 12 points respectively for the Jets, who soared to a 8-3 record.
Shiga, on the other hand, found themselves in a three-game losing skid and dropped to a 6-5 slate.
Ovie Soko produced a double-double line of 18 points and 13 rebounds in the tough loss, while Sean O'Mara saw his all-around effort of 18 points, seven boards and four assists go down the drain.
Ravena and the Lakestars will aim to arrest their slide when they take on the Shimane Susanoo Magic on Wednesday.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
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