Kiefer Ravena struggled but his Shiga Lakestars managed to come out on top by a hairline with an 84-83 road victory against Kyoto Hannaryz in Japan’s B. League at Kyoto City Gymnasium on Saturday, October 16.
Ravena was missing badly in the tight game that saw him registering only six points on a measly 1-of-7 shooting from the field.
He had the chance to make up for his miscues after he was sent to the foul line with 11 second remaining and Shiga holding on to a precarious one-point lead. However, the Filipino import muffed both free throws, giving Kyoto a chance to steal the game.
Fortunately, the Lakestars held their ground on the defensive end, escaping Kyoto to notch its fourth victory in five games so far in the tournament.
World import Ovie Soko carried the load for Shiga, unleashing monstrous numbers of 26 points and 15 rebounds while Novar Gadson stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, seven boards and six assists.
The Lakestars were down 70-69 before they unloaded six straight points triggered by a Sean O’mara putback with 6:20 minute left in the game. Kyoto answered with a 7-2 blitz to tie the game at 77-all.
Soko then scored five straight points capped by an and-1 play to break the deadlock and give the Lakestars a 82-77 cushion.
Hannaryz cut the lead down to one following back-to-back hits but Gadson scored on a layup to stretch the lead back to three. Justin Harper’s free throw trimmed the lead to one, 84-83, before Kyoto sent Ravena to the free-throw line.
Harper led Kyoto with 25 points and six rebounds while Tatsuya Suzuki provided support with 20 markers.
Kyoto will have the chance to get back on the visiting Shiga when the two teams lock horns once more on Sunday, 1:05 PM.