Thirdy Ravena returns as San-En NeoPhoenix snap losing streak

San-En NeoPhoenix snapped an eight-game losing skid in the 2019-20 B. League season by beating Levanga Hokkaido 83-69 in Thirdy Ravena's return Saturday at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Japan.

Ravena played limited minutes and tallied just five points, three rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench, but NeoPhoenix got big games from imports Kyle Hunt and Stevan Jelovac to pick up their first victory in over a month.

Hunt put up 22 points, 11 rebound, a steal and a block, while Jelovac tallied 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for San-En, which also lost the last four games without Ravena on board before the huge road win to improve to 3-17 in the West District.

Down one, 20-19, San-En unleashed a 20-5 run behind a red-hot Jelovac, who had 19 in the first half and capped off that rally with a triple to put the NeoPhoenix ahead 39-25 with a little over two minutes to go.

It was all San-En from there, as the visiting team continued to put the pressure on Levanga and even pushed the lead to 30, 73-43, midway through the fourth quarter to roll to a rare easy win.

Takanobu Nishikawa and Tatsuya Suzuki also added 11 and nine each for the NeoPhoenix, which shot an impressive 50 percent from the field while hitting 8-of-22 threes (36.4 percent) against Levanga.

Jawad Williams scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Asahi Tajima had 14 points and seven assists for Hokkaido, which missed B. League scoring leader Nick Mayo and slid to 4-16 in the East District after a fifth straight loss.

San-En can tally a second straight victory in the second of back-to-back road games against Levanga on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. (Manila time).


San-En NeoPhoenix 83 - Hunt 22, Jelovac 21, Nishikawa 11, Suzuki 9, Ravena 5, Yamamoto 5, Kawashima 4, Shuto 2, Ota 2, Milenovic 2.

Levanga Hokkaido 69 - Williams 15, Tajima 14, Taylor 9, Nakano 7, Kuzuhura 6, Hashimoto 5, Maye 5, Makizen 3, Uchida 3, Tamaki 2, Sakurai 0.

Quarters: 17-12, 41-28, 63-43, 83-69.