Kiefer Ravena is not about to let NLEX’S dream run come to a screeching halt.
Ravena led those who made the biggest plays in the endgame, enabling the Road Warriors to escape with an 88-87 win over Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok Saturday at the start of their PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ravena hit his average with 16 points, but his dish to Alex Mallari for the go-ahead three-pointer and his steal off Rafi Reavis were key in first-time semi-finalist NLEX gaining the headstart in the best-of-seven matchup.
Game 2 is set Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena with NLEX coach Yeng Guiao foremost among those how that one goes.
“As I’ve said before, we’re just in this for the ride,” said Guiao. “This is an adventure for us as a team. We’re just enjoying. Para kaming gatecrashers sa party. Nandito pa rin kami.”
The loss is a sorry one for Magnolia since it looked like it was well on its way to stealing the game after Paul Lee’s own trey made it just an 87-88 count and then Reavis stole the inbound from Cyrus Baguio.
NLEX 88 – Baguio 17, Ravena 16, Mallari 14, Soyud 10, Miranda 7, Fonacier 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Alas 5, Qui?ahan 4, Tiongson 2, Ighalo 0, Taulava 0, Gotladera 0.
Magnolia 87 – Sangalang 21, Simon 20, Barroca 9, Lee 8, Ramos 8, Reavis 6, Herndon 5, Pingris 5, Dela Rosa 5, Melton 0, Jalalon 0, Brondial 0.
Quarters: 14-12, 32-27, 60-61, 88-87.