Ashaolu, Ravena conspire as unbeaten NLEX adds to Blackwater woes

STA. ROSA CITY, Philippines – NLEX stretched its unbeaten run to 3 games with a 115-109 win over Blackwater in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Sunday, September 29. 

Import Olu Ashaolu and Kiefer Ravena showed the way for the Road Warriors, who climbed to the top of the team standings behind an unblemished 3-0 card and kept the Elite winless in two outings. 

Ashaolu finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Ravena chalked up 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists as they consipired in the endgame to keep the win-hungry Blackwater at bay.

Ravena drained two free throws to put NLEX ahead 110-102 before Ashaolu scored 5 points in the final 1:30 minutes that essentially sealed the victory for his side. 

Philip Paniamogan and Kenneth Ighalo both put up 12 points apiece, while JR Quinahan added 10 points in a stunning shooting display by NLEX, which drained 18 of its 31 three-point attempts for a 58% clip. 

The Elite also shot the lights out with an all-time franchise record 19 triples, but not even their pinpoint sniping was enough to keep them out of the losing column. 

A new record was set as the combined 37 triples now ranks the highest in league history – eclipsing the 35 combined treys made when TNT toppled San Miguel, 110-97, in the Commissioner's Cup in June.

Paul Desiderio saw his career-high 24 points and 6 three-pointers go to waste with Blackwater failing to protect a nine-point lead in the opening period.

NLEX turned the tides behind Ravena waxing hot for 10 points in a 33-point second-quarter assault to enter the break up 52-46 and never reliquished the lead until the final buzzer.

Ray Parks paced the Elite anew with 28 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, while import Marcus Blakely bounced back from his dismal 4-point showing in their first game with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 blocks and 4 steals.

The Scores

NLEX 115 - Ashaolu 31, Ravena 25, Paniamogan 12, Ighalo 12, Quinahan 10, Varilla 7, Lao 6, Fonacier 5, Galanza 5, Paredes 2, Miranda 0, Cruz 0, Soyud 0.

Blackwater 109 - Parks 28, Desiderio 24, Blakely 18, Maliksi 13, Belo 9, Cruz 8, Sumang 3, Cortez 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Alolino 2, DiGregorio 0, Dario 0, Javier 0.

Quarters: 19-25, 52-46, 85-81, 115-109.

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.