Kiefer Ravena, Shiga fall short to defending champions Chiba

·Contributor
·2 min read
Kiefer Ravena-led fightback not enough as Shiga falters over defending Japan B. League champion Chiba. (Photo: Shiga Lakestars/Twitter)
Kiefer Ravena-led fightback not enough as Shiga falters over defending Japan B. League champion Chiba. (Photo: Shiga Lakestars/Twitter)

Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars could not pull off an upset over defending Japan B. League champions Chiba Jets, losing steam in the end in an 88-99 loss at the Funabashi Arena on Saturday (6 November).   

Trailing by 14 points at the start of the fourth period, Ravena strapped the Lakestars behind his back and poured in nine points in a furious surge that trimmed Chiba's lead down to five at 86-91.  

However, the Jets restored order with Christopher Smith, John Mooney and Takuma Sato coming through in the final two minutes of regulation to quell Shiga's comeback attempt.

Chiba rose to a 7-3 slate in their title-defence bid, while the Lakestars dropped their second straight match for a 6-4 record.  

Smith paced the winning side with 26 points, six rebounds and three assists. Mooney also made his presence felt with a double-double of 15 points, 16 boards, five assists, three blocks and two steals, while Sato scored 15 of his own.  

Gavin Edwards provided ample support for the Jets with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and so did Josh Duncan, who chipped in 11 points, three boards and three assists. Yuki Togashi, for his part, supplemented 10 points, eight assist and five rebounds.  

The Lakestars, on the other hand, was spearheaded by Ovie Soko, who unloaded a game-high 28 points and eight rebounds in the losing cause.  

Sean O'Mara delivered a double-double of 17 points and 12 boards that went for naught, as Ravena wound up with 14 points, eight assists and two steals in the defeat.  

Both teams will clash anew on Sunday.

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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