Every week, Dribble Media will be handing out individual grades for the talented crop of Filipino imports now playing in the 2021-22 B.League season.
Players who missed action
Javi Gomez de Liaño, Ibaraki Robots – Undisclosed reasons
Matthew Aquino, Shinshu Brave Warriors – Coach’s decision
Juan Gomez de Liaño, Earthfriends Tokyo Z (Division II) – No scheduled game
Kenmark Cariño, Aomori Wat’s (Division II) – No scheduled game
Dwight Ramos, Toyama Grouses
Toyama notched their first win of the season by hacking out an 82-67 victory over Osaka Evessa, and Ramos grabbed the lion’s share of the spotlight. Ramos led the Grouses in scoring with 20 points, and he did it in a variety of ways. He drilled a triple and a pull-up jumper to start his outing, then he attacked closeouts when defenders ran him up to the three-point line. Ramos is not the quickest or the shiftiest player off the dribble, but he blows past his defenders through his excellent change of pace. He had a lot of that against Osaka, leading to easy finishes around the rim.
Ramos also stuffed his stat sheet with six rebounds and three assists, while only committing a single turnover despite the fact that he was Toyama’s primary initiator on offense the whole game. He also tallied his most free throws in a single game with six attempts, although he should do a better job capitalizing on those trips. Still, Ramos’ all-around brilliance in the Grouses’ first win of the season nets him the highest rating among B.League Filipino players last week.
Dwight’s Week 5 Grade: A
Kobe Paras, Niigata Albirex BB
Niigata was on a five-game losing slump heading into their ninth assignment of the season, and they faced an even tougher task of going up against Alvark Tokyo, the team that won the B.League championship in two of the past three years. But the struggling Niigata came in ready as they established a 58-44 lead in the third quarter, and maintained an eight-point advantage heading into the payoff period. But Alvark’s Ryan Rossiter took over in the fourth quarter, dealing Niigata their sixth straight loss.
Still, this was a great bounce-back game for Paras. After scoring just 6.0 points on a lowly 33.3% shooting in Week 4, Paras tallied 13 points against Alvark, making five of his 12 tries from the field. He also did some great work on the defensive end, as he compiled a season-high three steals. There’s still more to his offense than what Paras showed in this game, but his activity on defense provided a boost for Niigata.
Kobe’s Week 5 Grade: B+
Ray Parks Jr., Nagoya Diamond Dolphins
It was a relatively quiet outing for Parks, but he didn’t have to do much as Nagoya turned in a well-balanced offense to hand out a 98-70 beating of San-En NeoPhoenix. With the Diamond Dolphins creating a 26-point advantage after three quarters, Parks only logged 21 minutes in the lopsided victory and put up 12 points on a 4-of-9 clip from the field.
Parks’ outside shooting is still looking good, as he drilled two of his four attempts from beyond the arc. Parks and Nagoya have now climbed past the .500 win rate with a 5-4 record, and they will face the Gunma Crane Thunders for their next assignment next weekend.
Ray’s Week 5 Grade: B
Kiefer Ravena, Shiga Lakestars
In a game where the Lakestars put up only a total of 74 points, including below 20-point performances in each of the first three quarters, Kiefer was one of the team’s three players who still managed to tally double digits in the scoring column. He produced 13 markers on 6-of-13 shooting, but only hit one of his five tries from beyond the arc.
Another downside of Kiefer’s night was that he only dished out only one assist — a far cry from the nine assists he tallied in their last win against Nagoya. Still, there’s no reason to be concerned about this as Kiefer is still averaging 4.8 assists this season, and his very low turnover count is an indicator of just how steady he is as Shiga’s main ball-handler.
Kiefer’s Week 5 Grade: B-
Thirdy Ravena, San-En NeoPhoenix
Just like his older brother, Thirdy also struggled with his outside shooting, as he produced a paltry 1-of-5 clip from the three-point line in San-En’s 28-point loss at the hands of Nagoya. The upside was that Thirdy again found his way to the charity stripe, making five of his six free throws. His free throw attempts drastically decreased after the first two weeks of the season, so let’s see if this game could inspire Thirdy to be more aggressive in getting to the bonus line in San-En’s next games.
Thirdy’s Week 5 Grade: B-