LEARNING their lesson from the collapse a day earlier, San-En NeoPhoenix survived the Shiga Lakestars' late rally to pull off an 82-76 escape and snap a seven-game losing streak in the 2020-21 B.League on Sunday at Ukaru-chan Arena.
Thirdy Ravena, who left Saturday's game after getting hit by an inadvertent elbow by Jordan Hamilton, tallied seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, to go with six rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of action.
Stevan Jelovac topped San-En with 28 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from deep, on top of 12 rebounds, three assists, and two steals before fouling out with 1:02 left to play.
But it was Tatsuya Suzuki who played big for the NeoPhoenix, scoring five of his 13 points in the payoff period to douse the fightback from the Lakestars and split the two-game series.
Angus Brandt cut a 15-point third quarter lead, 65-50, down to just six, 70-64 with 4:24 remaining, but Suzuki sparked an 8-1 run to restore a 13-point advantage, 78-65, after a Hayato Kawashima layup with 2:15 left.
Suzuki shot a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, including two three-pointers, as he wound up with 13 points and five assists, while Kawashima got 16 built on his 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, as well as five assists and two boards.
San-En had a better game from rainbow country, going 10-of-20, compared to Shiga's 7-of-28 clip.
Kyle Hunt added 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks as the NeoPhoenix improved to a 12-41 record.
The Lakestars got to within five, 81-76, after a quick bucket from Shunto Murakami off a steal with 11.4 seconds left. But Shuto Terazono iced the game with a split from the charity stripe with 6.3 ticks remaining as Hamilton missed his late drive as time expired.
San-En turns its attention to the West Division leaders Ryukyu Golden Kings (37-11) on Wednesday, this time at home at Toyohashi City General Gymnasium.
Hamilton finished with 25 points but only went 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, aside from his eight rebounds and five assists in the defeat as Shiga dropped to 18-33.
Jonathan Octeus also had 12 points and five boards, as Brandt got 11 points and nine rebounds despite the Lakestars only committing four turnovers in the game.