The San-En NeoPhoenix weathered a 28-point outing by Kiefer Ravena to rout the Shiga Lakestars, 93-80, Sunday afternoon at the Hamamatsu Arena.
It was a bounce-back victory for the NeoPhoenix, who had lost to the Lakestars 104-100 on Saturday behind a 10-assist effort from Ravena. The result also snapped an eight-game losing streak for San-En in the 2021-22 season of the B.League.
The NeoPhoenix were playing without Thirdy Ravena, who was called up to the Philippine national basketball team for the February window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
It was Elias Harris who starred for San-En, putting up 26 points and 10 rebounds. Robert Carter added 14 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. The NeoPhoenix were playing for the first time since February 6, after COVID-19 cases forced the cancellations of several games.
After a close first quarter that saw both teams score 23 points, the NeoPhoenix began pulling away in the second period. They out-scored the visiting Lakestars 21-25, and further dominated the third quarter, 24-13.
San-En would lead by as much as 24 points, 83-59, with under six minutes to go. A late flurry by Kiefer and Sean O'Mara got the Lakestars within ten points, 90-80, with a minute left, but it was too little, too late for Shiga.
Kazuma Tsuya's triple with 15 seconds left pegged the final score and ended any hopes of a Shiga comeback.
Kiefer tied his B.League career-high with 28 points, shooting 10-of-15 from the field. It was a marked improvement for the elder Ravena, who was just 1-of-10 from the field in Saturday's win, though he also had 10 assists.
O'Mara added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakestars, but they were undone by their poor defense as Shiga allowed San-En to shoot 52% from the field.
Shiga dropped to 10-18, while the NeoPhoenix won for just the fifth time in the season against 28 defeats.
The Lakestars play again on March 2 against the Toyama Grouses, while San-En will take on the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins on March 9.