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    Parks and Ravena face off, Aquino and Carino debut on busy B.League weekend

    Oct 22, 2021
    Kiefer Ravena Ray Parks Matthew Aquino Kemark Carino
    PHOTO: B.League | TMG

    LONGTIME rivals Kiefer Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks write another chapter in their storied historythis weekend in the 2021-22 Japan B.League season.

    Ravena's Shiga Lakestars pay Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins a visit at Dolphins' Arena for a pair of matches, with both tip-offs for Saturday and Sunday set at 2:05 p.m. (Manila time).

    For the Lakestars, it's all about sustaining a fiery start that saw them win their last four outings to emerge as surprise leader in the first division holding a 5-1 record.

    Ravena is a big part of that success as an off-the-bench player and a reliable closer, averaging 11.2 points on 35-percent shooting from deep, alongside 5.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals in 25.5 minutes through six games.

    Ray Parks has hit his stride with the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.

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    Parks, though, isn't far behind as he has slowly gotten his groove after a slow start to the campaign due to a calf strain.

    In a pair of victories over the Toyama Grouses, the Filipino import led his side with 16.0 points on 33-percent shooting from threes, to go with 5.5 boards, 2.5 steals, and 1.5 assists in 20 minutes as the Diamond Dolphins moved up to an even 3-3.

    Hectic weekend for Pinoy imports

    Aside from this marquee matchup, all but one of the nine Filipinos in Japan are set to see action this weekend.

    Kobe Paras will be the first one out as Niigata Albirex BB (2-4) host the SeaHorses Mikawa (2-4) at Niigata City East Sports Center at 6:05 p.m. on Friday and at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday.

    Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix (2-4) aim to snap a two-game losing skid when they visit the still-winless Ibaraki Robots (0-6) at Kamisu Disaster Prevention Arena, with the home team still missing Filipino import Javi Gomez de Liano.

    Dwight Ramos is also hoping that the longer time with the team could help the Toyama Grouses (0-6) finally break the dry spell this early in the season when they shoot for the upset against the Ryukyu Golden Kings (4-2), featuring former Meralco import Allen Durham, this weekend at Toyama Seibu Sports Center.

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      Matthew Aquino is expected to make his debut for the skidding Shinshu Brave Warriors (2-4) when they visit Osaka Evessa (3-3) at Ookini Arena Maishima. The Brave Warriors have lost their last four games.

      In second division action, Juan Gomez de Liano is also hoping to help the Earthfriends Tokyo Z (0-6) finally get to the win column against leader Fighting Eagles Nagoya (5-1) at Ota City General Gymnasium.

      Kemark Carino marks his debut for the Aomori Wat's (1-5) as they aim for back-to-back wins on the road against the Kagawa Five Arrows (4-2) at Zentsuji Civic Gymnasium.

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      PHOTO: B.League | TMG
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