Kiefer fuels NLEX victory
NLEX has caught a glimpse of its lethal form. One that will feature Kiefer Ravena a lot.
The Road Warriors opened their PBA Governors’ Cup campaign on a winning note, fending off Phoenix Fuel, 123-116, on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We didn’t have that threat, that steadiness in the end game: A guard who can bring the ball down and make decisions,” coach Yeng Guiao said. “That’s something we’ve been missing without Kiefer.”
Ravena poured 14 of his total 20 points in the first half and then turned to his playmaking and defense to keep Phoenix in the back seat when it mattered the most.
“Kiefer is always going to be a threat going to the basket. So he’s going to attract a lot from the defense and he’s making good decisions spotting open people,” the fiery Guiao said.
Olu Ashaoulu fired 29 points to lead NLEX.
In the later game, Meralco came from behind to turn back defending champion Magnolia, 98-92, as Chris Newsome scored 22 points and import Allen Durham added 21.
Ravena, who spent 18 months away from the sport following a Fiba ban for mistakenly ingesting a banned substance, finished with nine boards and seven assists.
“I got that monkey off my back in the PBA,” he told reporters. Ravena’s first official stint back from the Fiba ban was with Gilas Pilipinas in the World Cup.
Phoenix’s old reliable Eugene Phelps, meanwhile, led the way with 38 points and 10 rebounds, while Matthew Wright tossed in 24 more in the losing stand.
NLEX big man Poy Erram, who hurt his left elbow after tangling with Dave Marcelo, was rushed to an unspecified hospital. The extent of the injury has yet to be determined.
Guiao asked the league to review Marcelo’s foul: “If you see the tape, he made a forceful motion to really bend (Erram’s) arm.”
Meanwhile, the PBA will sell tickets for the Governors’ Cup at 50 percent off starting Sept. 25. To avail of the discount, fans must simply present proof of purchase of the products any of the PBA’s 12 teams at the ticket promo booth where the games are played.
The proof of purchase includes four packs of Alaska milk or Alaska chocolate powdered milk drink, two bottles of Blackwater Fragrance, a minimum P250 worth of Dyip Ko Shuttle tickets, five seals of GSM products, a minimum P250 worth of any Magnolia chicken products, Meralco bill receipt, P250 worth of NLEX/SLEX toll receipts, used Air Asia boarding pass or e-ticket confirmation, P250 worth of Phoenix products, eight San Miguel Beer crowns and one unused Smart/TNT/Sun prepaid card or minimum P150 worth of e-load.