Thirdy Ravena’s San-En survives Kobe Paras, Niigata comeback bid
MANILA, Philippines — Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix avoided a sweep on their homecourt after denying the comeback bid of Niigata Albirex BB, 85-82, at the Hamamatsu Arena on Sunday.
After squandering an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, NeoPhoenix survived the Niigata effort with timely conversions at the free throw line.
Yoshiyuki Matsuwaki split on the game's final trip to the charity stripe to keep the door ajar for Niigata for a game-tying triple with five ticks left in the game, but Rosco Allen would miss on the attempt to fall short of the comeback.
Ravena thus drew his matchup with former collegiate rival Kobe Paras who plays for Niigata, 1-1.
Paras turned the ball over in a crucial moment with a little over a minute and a half remaining which ended up with a Matsuwaki triple to help San-En distance themselves anew.
Prior to Paras' turnover, Niigata had just accomplished a defensive stop and were only down by one possession, 74-71.
Robert Carter topscored for San-En with 22 points while Ravena finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Paras, meanwhile, scattered 11 markers, three rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Allen was the leading scorer for Niigata in the loss with 24 markers, 14 rebounds and six assists.
Both squads have a 2-2 record after two weeks of play.
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