MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena made the wait worth it for NLEX after playing a pivotal role in a 123-116 win over Phoenix in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, September 21.
Ravena – seeing action in his first PBA game in more than a year after his FIBA suspension ended in August – delivered 20 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals as the Road Warriors emerged triumphant in their conference debut.
Import Olu Ashaolu churned out 29 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and was the driving force in a third-quarter turnaround that saw NLEX swing a 52-55 halftime deficit to a 94-84 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Ashaolu scored 11 points in the Road Warriors' blazing 42-point third-quarter assault and scattered 10 points in the payoff period as the Fuel Masters never got hold of the upper hand again.
Ravena, though, was not the only local who shone as Philip Paniamogan put up 14 points, Larry Fonacier and Paul Varilla had 11 points, and JR Quiñahan chipped in 10 points in the win.
Jericho Cruz added 9 points and Mike Miranda – who returned to NLEX after being traded to TNT a couple of months ago – made his presence felt with 7 points.
The victory, however, was dampened with Poy Erram getting rushed to the hospital after his arm got entangled with Phoenix big man Dave Marcelo.
As usual, Eugene Phelps chalked up monster numbers of 38 points and 10 rebounds, but not even his 23-point eruption in the final frame could give the Fuel Masters a win in their conference-opener.
Matthew Wright finished with 24 points, 9 assists, and 3 steals, Justin Chua had 15 points, while Alex Mallari added 14 points and 4 rebounds. – Rappler.com
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.