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Matthew Wright Blazes Trail as Filipino Hoops Stars Light Up Japan B.League

 Matthew Wright has become the fastest Filipino import to reach 1,000 points in the Japan B.League, joining his compatriots in a growing club of scoring champions. This "Pinoy 1000-point Club" celebrates the achievements of Filipino players who have conquered the Japanese basketball scene.

Wright, now a sophomore import with the Kyoto Hannaryz, achieved the feat on the league's opening weekend of 2024. He reached the milestone with his first basket in a 99-83 loss to the Chiba Jets, finishing the game with 17 points.

Wright's speed to 1,000 points is unmatched among Filipinos in the B.League. He accomplished it in just 80 games, two fewer than Kiefer Ravena, captain of the Shiga Lakes, who reached the mark in his second season.

Ravena, though demoted to the second tier with his team, remains a scoring force. He left his B1 record at 1,252 points and continues to perform well, averaging 11.9 points and 5.9 assists this season. Shiga is currently leading the West standings with a 23-7 record, making a strong case for a promotion back to the first division.

Meanwhile, Ray Parks Jr. joined the club on Saturday, Jan. 6, reaching 1,000 points in the Nagoya Dolphins' 92-79 loss to Thirdy Ravena's San-En NeoPhoenix. The 30-year-old guard has been a consistent contributor this season, averaging 6.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Despite the loss, the Dolphins maintain a respectable 16-12 record.

Dwight Ramos, who battled injuries throughout much of the season, finally reached the 1,000-point mark late last year. The Gilas Pilipinas guard's Levanga Hokkaido, however, has struggled recently, losing back-to-back games against the Sun Rockers Shibuya and dropping to 8-20 in the standings.

Thirdy Ravena, the pioneer Filipino player in the B.League, remains a force to be reckoned with. He opened the doors for his fellow countrymen and was also the first to reach 1,000 points. San-En continued their winning streak on Sunday, Jan. 7, edging out Nagoya 80-74. This victory puts them just behind league-leading Alvark Tokyo with a 24-4 record. Thirdy contributed 13 points, three rebounds, and seven assists to the win.

The rise of Filipino basketball stars in the Japan B.League is a testament to their talent and dedication. Matthew Wright's record-breaking speed and the continued success of his compatriots like Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena highlight the growing impact of Filipino hoops in the Japanese basketball scene.

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