NLEX needed a four-point play by Larry Fonacier down the stretch to survive the unconventional ways of Kia, 119-115, Wednesday in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The veteran sharpshooter got hit and still converted on a right wing trey before completing the bonus off a foul from Philip Paniamogan with 1:06 remaining to give the Road Warriors a 117-113 lead.
JayR Reyes and Paniamogan tried to bring the Picanto back in the game, but they muffed their triples in the last 15.5 seconds left. JR Quiñahan then, iced the game from the charity stripe.
“It was exactly what we expected, a hard earned win for us,” said NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao.
Kiefer Ravena, the second overall pick by NLEX, proved to be good as advertised as he flirted with a triple-double with 18 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds with two steals to boot in his PBA debut.
NLEX 119 – Ravena 18, Miranda 14, Alas 14, Mallari 13, Fonacier 12, Al-Hussaini 12, Quinahan 12, Tiongson 11, Baguio 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 4, Taulava 0.
KIA 115 – Camson 24, McCarthy 14, Corpuz 13, Reyes 12, Galanza 12, Celda 9, Ababou 9, Khobuntin 8, Paniamogan 7, Tubid 4, Yee 3, Caperal 0.
QUARTERS: 36-40, 64-68, 90-92, 119-115.