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Shiga escapes Kyoto for tie of B.League West lead as Kiefer struggles

Despite the struggles of their lead guard Kiefer Ravena, Shiga still managed to escape Kyoto, taking an 84-83 win in the 2021-22 B.League season, Saturday at the Kyoto City Gymnasium.

A picture of efficiency in his first four games in Japan’s premier league with norms of 13.8 points and 6.8 assists, Ravena could not find his shot in the contest, going just 1-of-7 from the field and 0-of-2 from the stripe. The 6-foot combo guard also had no assists while committing three errors.

Crucial were the two missed freebies by Ravena as it came with 11 seconds left and the Lakestars only up by one.

Fortunately for Shiga, Hannaryz import and former NorthPort guest player Justin Harper was locked down by Ovie Soko to seal the escape act.

Soko had 26 points and 15 rebounds in the contest, including a couple of clutch buckets.

In a furious fourth-quarter by both squads, Soko knocked down a couple of big buckets to buck the Hannaryz. Novar Gadson joined in the act by converting on a big layup that gave Shiga an 84-81 lead.

Harper knocked down two free throws with 13.5 ticks left that set up the wild finish.

Gadson also had 19 points, eight boards, and six assists, while Shotaro Hayashi chipped in 11 points.

Shiga raised its slate to 4-1 to tie Ryukyu on top of B.League West while dropping Kyoto to 2-3.

Harper led Kyoto with 25 points and six rebounds.

Tatsuya Suzuki, one of Japan’s rising floor generals, had a superb game as well with 20 points, 16 assists, and eight rebounds.

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The two squads square off again tomorrow at 1:05 PM (Manila time).

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