Ravena fit again, team wins anew

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    THIRDY Ravena played sparingly in his return to San-En NeoPhoenix after he recovered from COVID-19. No problem.

    San-En NeoPhoenix held off Levanga Hokkaido 80-74 yesterday for its second straight win in the Japan B. League at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center.

    Ravena went scoreless and had one rebound, one assist and one steal but the likes of fellow imports Kyle Hunt and Stevan Jelovac and local Hayato Kawashima did most of the damage for San-En NeoPhoenix.

    In his first game back last Dec. 12 after testing positive for the virus last Nov. 27, the 6-foot-2 Ravena scored five points, on top of three rebounds and three assists as San-En NeoPhoenix whipped the same opponent 83-69 and snapped an eight-game losing skid.

    San-En NeoPhoenix improved to 4-17 in the West District.

    Without the high-flying former Ateneo star wingman, San-En NeoPhoenix struggled and lost four in a row.

    San-En tangles with Niigata Albirex this Saturday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 20 at home at the Toyohashi City General Stadium.

    Ravena, 23, tested positive for COVID-19 after he played in a scrimmage against private ballclub Kanazawa Samurai Team last Nov. 24.

    After leading the Blue Eagles to three straight UAAP titles where he was named finals MVP in each season, Ravena opted not to join last year’s PBA Draft despite being projected as likely the top pick overall and instead signed with San-En NeoPhoenix as the first Filipino and Asian to suit as an import under the league’s Asian quotas initiative last June.