Sports

Thirdy struggles as San-En blows big lead in loss to Shibuya


San-en NeoPhoenix during an away game

FILE – San-En NeoPhoenix during a road game in the B.League. Photo from San-En

MANILA, Philippines—San-En squandered an 18-point lead en route to a disappointing 70-64 loss to Shibuya in its inter-conference matchup in the 2021-22 Japan B.League season Saturday at Memorial Hall in Tokyo.

The NeoPhoenix had absolute control of the Sun Rockers throughout the first half and held a 41-23 less than a minute into the third quarter.

That, however, was the final moment of the NeoPhoenix’ brilliance as Shibuya slowly took control of the game, going on a 26-10 run to take a 50-49 lead 13 seconds into the fourth after Morizane Kaito’s triple.

With his team leading 65-64, James Michael McAdoo went to work in crunch time, hitting a hook shot to give the Sun Rockers a 68-64 buffer with 26 seconds to play.

Matsuwaki Yoshiyuki then blundered a step-back 3-pointer in San-En’s ensuing play, allowing Leo Vendrame to ice the game from the line with 18 seconds left.

McAdoo led the Sun Rockers with a game-high 31 points, 13 rebounds, and five steals while Josh Harrellson 13 points and 11 boards as they improved to a 7-3 record in the East Conference.

Justin Knox and Robert Carter had 18 and 14 points, respectively, to lead the 3-7 NeoPhoenix while Thirdy Ravena struggled with four points, on 2-of-8 shooting, with three rebounds and four turnovers.

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