Looking at San-En Neophoenix’s comeback win vs Shiga

Looking at San-En Neophoenix’s comeback win vs Shiga

Looking at San-En Neophoenix's comeback win vs Shiga

MANILA, Philippines – San-en Neophoenix’s 101-96 overtime win over the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B League was almost a carbon copy of the season opener between the two teams where the Lakestars rallied from 22 points down to win by 10.

This time, it was Shiga that controlled much of the match and led by 18, after which the Neophoenix rallied for a five-point victory.

Both Kiefer and Thirdy had a bigger impact for their respective teams this time — the Lakestars and the Neophoenix, respectively.

Kiefer tied teammate Ovi Soko with 20 points to pace the Lakestars, who finished the weekend 1-1. He added seven assists to go with one steal and one rebound. Had Kiefer knocked down those two triples late in the game, I’d wager this early, they’d put up a statue of him outside Ukaru-Chan Arena.

Thirdy blew hot and cold in the first half but it was during the fourth period and overtime where he made a huge impact. He attacked the basket and hit some huge shots. He scored nine points in the fourth period to lead the Neophoenix as they completed the rally.

He was unable to attempt a shot in the final play of the fourth period while guarded efficiently by Kiefer who also fished a couple of fouls from him.

In the five-minute extension, Thirdy hit a huge trey to give his team a seven-point lead that they ultimately held until the game’s end.

Thirdy, who avoided foul trouble in this match, finished with a team-high 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. A tidy sum that saw him named the match’s best player. His production also offset the low number by teammate Justin Knox.

I think the younger of the Ravena brothers does better when he attacks the basket. That way, he can also create for his teammates, rebound, and even play defense because of his leaping ability and propensity to block shots.

I can understand his wanting to fit within the flow of the match and defer to older teammates. I can understand his coach wanting him to spot up but I still believe that is a waste of what he can do because he isn’t a shooter. He is a scorer for sure.

A few more sterling performances like this and his confidence will grow as his role with the team.

As for the rest of the Neophoenix, it is only Tsuyama Takashi who is contributing heavily outside the imports. Takashi finished with 14 points (he scored 15 in the season opener) and played well in the extension. Hajime Tsuya and Yamauchi Morihisa added 13 points between them. Ryo Tawatari once more scored four points in the match.

By the same token, Shiga’s locals tallied only 27 points.

The homegrown players finished with a total of 38 points. That was seven points better than in their 93-83 loss to Shiga on opening day.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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