Thirdy gets back at Kiefer as San-En edges Shiga in OT to split opening weekend series

Thirdy gets back at Kiefer as San-En edges Shiga in OT to split opening weekend series

Thirdy Ravena and the NeoPhoenix bounced back from a tough loss the night before by giving Kiefer and the Lakestars a dose of their own medicine. B.League (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Thirdy Ravena got one win back against his brother Kiefer as San-En forced a stalemate in its B.League opening weekend series against Shiga through a 101-93 overtime win in their rematch at the Ukaruchan Arena in Otsu, Japan on Sunday.

A day after the Lakestars crawled back to beat the NeoPhoenix, it was the latter's turn to pull off a comeback win, zooming back from 18 points down before finishing the job in extra time.

Unlike their Saturday night meeting, Shiga quickly went for the kill this time, stifling San-En in the first half and opening a 51-33 advantage late in the second quarter.

But the NeoPhoenix began squeezing their way back to the game in the third canto, outscoring the Lakestars, 30-21, to trim the gap down to just six, 72-66, entering the fourth.

San-En then started the fourth period on a 9-2 run, and a Thirdy Ravena layup put the team on top, 75-74, with 7:26 left in regulation.

Shiga responded with six unanswered points, back-to-back baskets from Sean O'Mara and a split from Ovie Soko, to put the team back up, 80-75, with 4:55 remaining in the fourth.

The Lakestars, however, could not put the game away, and an Elias Harris layup with 1:26 left in regulation eventually forced overtime at 85-all.

Soko actually had a chance to seal the win in regulation, but he missed a buzzer-beating layup.

The NeoPhoenix surged ahead at the start of the overtime session, scoring the first seven points of the additional five minutes, and while the Lakestars threatened to come back, Ravena shut the door on them with a corner triple with 2:22 left for the 97-89 cushion even as both teams were relegated to just exchanging baskets in the end.

Thirdy finished with 21 points on 3-for-6 from long range, seven rebound, and five assists for San-En.

Harris added 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and three steals.

Kiefer Ravena and Soko each put up 20 markers for Shiga.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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