Thirdy, San-En fend off Niigata for second win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2021 03:39 PM

Thirdy Ravena in action for San-En NeoPhoenix. (c) B.LEAGUE
Thirdy Ravena in action for San-En NeoPhoenix. (c) B.LEAGUE

Thirdy Ravena just missed out on a double-double as the San-En NeoPhoenix held off Niigata Albirex BB, 85-82, for their second win of the 2021-22 B.League season on Sunday at the Hamamatsu Arena.

Ravena had 13 points and nine rebounds, as San-En bounced back from Saturday's 77-64 defeat to Niigata and improved their record to 2-2 early in the competition.

Robert Carter led San-En with 22 points, including the layup with 4:20 to play that put the NeoPhoenix ahead for good, 69-67. They would lead by six points later, 77-71, off a Yoshiyuki Matsuwaki triple before Albirex mounted a last ditch comeback.

Two free throws by Zen Endo made it a three-point game, 80-77, with still 16 seconds to go, but Carter was cool on the line to push the lead back to five points, 82-77.

Niigata's Rosco Allen fired a triple to keep the door open for the visitors, 82-80, with 12 seconds left, but Carter again made two free throws to keep San-En in control. Albirex still had a chance when Yuto Nohmi made two free throws, and Morihisa Yamauchi split his charities on the other end for an 85-82 count with still five seconds left.

But Niigata couldn't force a tie, as Allen's three-pointer misfired at the buzzer. 

Three other players scored in double figures for San-En, with Elias Harris tallying an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double. The NeoPhoenix pounced on Niigata's turnovers, scoring 19 points off their opponents' 12 miscues.

Allen finished with 24 points to lead Albirex, while Jeff Ayres had 14 points.

Kobe Paras, who had 21 points in Saturday's win, was limited to 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in their defeat this time around.