BASKETBALL | Shiga Lakes Snap 18-Game Losing Streak, Focus on Improvement
The B.League's Shiga Lakes have had three head coaches this season. Current bench boss David Gomez is aiming to build a more consistent team.
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A combination of injuries, coaching changes, departed players and a slew of poor performances have taken a toll on the Shiga Lakes this season.
But the Lakes had a rare opportunity to celebrate ― a sigh of relief, a possible reset of sorts ― on Sunday, February 5, when they halted an 18-game losing streak in the B.League.
Trailing by four points after the opening stanza, the second quarter was the difference for Shiga, which outscored the visiting San-en NeoPhoenix 21-11 in the 10-minute period. That gave the Lakes, who were known as the Lakestars from 2008 until the end of last season, a 42-36 halftime lead. And the point differential in the second half was one point (in the NeoPhoenix's favor).
Shiga won, 89-84.
When was the Lakes' previous victory? A 69-67 home triumph over the SeaHorses Mikawa on December 10.
Newcomer DeQuan Jones and Kelvin Martin paced the hosts with 19 points apiece. Martin hauled in 11 rebounds and made four steals. Big man David Doblas, who hails from Spain, snared eight rebounds.
Shiga's Kiefer Ravena finished with 15 points, knocking down 4 of 7 3-point attempts, and dished out three assists. Backcourt mate Kai Toews had 13 points and seven assists.
Kazuki Hosokawa led the NeoPhoenix (16-20) with a season-high 29 points, including 8 of 11 from 3-point range.
Shiga (5-31) is tied with the Niigata Albirex BB for the worst record in the 24-team B.League first division.
The Mood After the Win
After their victory in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Lakes head coach David Gomez effectively expressed what the streak-stopping triumph represents to the franchise.
"I think this victory has released the stress and pressure that the whole team has been carrying," Gomez, who was promoted to his current position in late January (following the departure of ex-head coaches Luis Guil and Takayuki Yasuda earlier this season), told reporters after the game.
Looking ahead, the Spaniard said: "I think it is important not to be trapped in the past, but to focus on the moment in front of us and fight."
Filipino playmaker Ravena and Teppei Kashiwagura, the team's two captains, agreed with Gomez that the win changed the team's mood a bit.
"This win is very meaningful for the team after the losing streak," commented Ravena, who joined the team in 2021. "And I hope that we can use this as an opportunity to play the rest of the season with a good rhythm and finish the season on a good note."
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Author: Ed Odeven
Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and Twitter ＠ed_odeven.
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