White Christmas for Pinoy imports

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino imports may have been far and away from their families but some of them found ways to celebrate Christmas Day with big wins in their respective leagues.

Thirdy Ravena, Matthew Wright and Ray Parks Jr. triumphed in the Japan B. League while RJ Abarrientos got the better of pal SJ Belangel in the Korean Basketball League.

Ravena, the first Filipino import in Japan, unloaded 15 points as the San-En NeoPhoenix improved to 11-12 after a 92-79 win over Gunma. Parks also had 15 in an easy 104-66 win of the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins (17-6) over Niigata.

Former PBA star Wright put up 11 markers, seven assists and four boards in the Kyoto Hannaryz’s 91-69 win over Toyama to end a seven-game skid and move up to 8-15.

Abarrientos, the ex-FEU ace, also did not disappoint in the battle between former Gilas Pilipinas guards against Belangel with 12 points in the 76-70 win of Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus over Daegu Kogas Pegasus.

Ulsan hiked its mark to 15-9 card to stay lurking behind top-seed Anyang KGC (16-8) with the steady performance of Abarrientos, who has been named as the lone Pinoy in the 2023 KBL All-Star Game next month.

Belangel only had three markers in limited action as Ethan Alvano and the Wonju DB Promy fell to Suwon KT SonicBoom, 77-64, to cap the Christmas Day games of Filipino imports in Korea.

Back in Japan, Kobe Paras scored 14 as Altiri Chiba trumped Kagawa, 100-66, while Heading chimed in 10 in Nagasaki’s 93-82 win over Earthfriends Tokyo Z.

Dwight Ramos (Levanga Hokkaido) and Roosevelt Adams (Kagawa) were sidelined in the losses of their respective teams due to injuries while Kiefer Ravena had 11 in the Shiga Lakestars’ 105-74 loss to Alvark Tokyo to fall at 4-19.

Greg Slaughter did not see action in the 71-67 win of the Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka against Yamagata.

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