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Ravena bros relish magical weekend in Shiga

Despite being two of the lower-ranking teams in the B.League last season, the opening weekend clash between San-En and Shiga was the marquee match-up the league was heavily promoting.

After all, the game’s top stars were two brothers who were facing off for the first time in their young careers – Lakestars’ Kiefer and NeoPhoenix’s Thirdy Ravena.

And for the two brothers, they’d looked forward to this since Kiefer signed with Shiga last June.

Gilas-vs.-ADMU-Kiefer-Ravena-Thirdy-Ravena-2770 Ravena bros relish magical weekend in Shiga Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“We were really looking forward to it. This is the first time we played against each other in a real game, a professional game,” said Kiefer.

“It takes us back to our younger days when we were playing in the backyard of our home court before; playing with no shoes on and just enjoying basketball. And now, we’re in one of the highest level of leagues in the world, showcasing our talents, representing our family, representing the Filipino talents, and representing the Filipino people as well.”

Shiga and San-En put so much hype in the buildup to the game.

There were videos released for the entire week promoting the heads-up matchup. Commemorative mugs and shirts were produced. Shiga even opened the Ukaruchan Arena for Filipinos wanting to watch the game.

Yes, both Saturday and Sunday games had a big fight feel to them. And it delivered.

2021-22-B.League-season-San-En-vs-Shiga-Kiefer-Ravena Ravena bros relish magical weekend in Shiga Basketball News  - philippine sports news

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In the first game, Kiefer showed poise in rallying Shiga from 22 down to stun San-En, 93-83.

Kiefer had 11 points, eight assists, and three steals in the game. Meanwhile, Thirdy tallied 11 points, six rebounds, two steals, and an assist.

2021-22-B.League-season-San-En-vs-Shiga-Thirdy-Ravena-vs-Kiefer-Ravena Ravena bros relish magical weekend in Shiga Basketball News  - philippine sports news

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Less than 24 hours later, Thirdy was able to exact vengeance on Kiefer. The NeoPhoenix rallied from 18 down to silence the Lakestars in overtime, 101-96.

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Thirdy had 21 points in the game along with seven rebounds and five assists while Kiefer, on the other hand, put up 20 points with seven assists and a steal.

2021-22-B.League-season-San-En-vs-Shiga-Thirdy-Ravena-vs-Kiefer-Ravena-3 Ravena bros relish magical weekend in Shiga Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Photo from Shiga Lakestars

“I guess he got the last laugh.

“But we’re happy that we finished the weekend healthy, without injuries. Of course, it’s a long season, so we have to prepare for all the other teams in the league,” said Kiefer.

Besides the on-court festivities, there was also a lot of off-court happening during the two days.

On Saturday, Kiefer and Thirdy gave a short meet-and-greet to the Filipinos who travelled to Shiga to watch the game. Then on Sunday, the two were front and center during a ‘tip-off’ ceremony.

2021-22-B.League-season-San-En-vs-Shiga-Thirdy-Ravena-vs-Kiefer-Ravena-Tip-Off-ceremony Ravena bros relish magical weekend in Shiga Basketball News  - philippine sports news

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“Both games were very tough,” said Thirdy. “We both had a big first half, and we both found a way to bounce back in the second half. So it was a great weekend overall.

“We’re just happy to represent our teams, and of course, our country as well.”

“We’re just so grateful that a lot of Filipinos came over from Kyoto, Osaka, Gifu, and Tokyo and really traveled a lot of miles just to watch us siblings play,” continued Kiefer.

“We can’t show our appreciation to them but hopefully when they see this or read this, we were able to get that message – that we truly appreciate their time and their effort in traveling and watching us brothers play.”

With this over with, the two will be back to being brothers again. Well until January 22 and 23 when they get to do it all over again, this time in San-En.

“As an older brother, now that we can treat each other as brothers now that the game is over. We just both wish for one another that we can play as many games as we want here in the B.League and stay injury-free.”

After a tiring weekend, the two brothers went out for a steak dinner with one of their friends there. Definitely, both Kiefer and Thirdy deserve that sumptuous meal.

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