PBA: NLEX posts first win, keeps NorthPort winless

PBA: NLEX posts first win, keeps NorthPort winless

MANILA, Philippines — NLEX pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat NorthPort, 102-88, and post its first win in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga.

With the Batang Pier breathing down their necks, the Road Warriors went on a blistering 23-4 run that turned a one-point lead to a 96-78 buffer after a three-point play by Kiefer Ravena with 4:30 remaining.

Ravena then made two free throws to make it, 100-80, with less than three minutes to go.

The star guard finished with 25 points, five rebounds and four assists while his backcourt mate Kevin Alas tallying a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds on top of six assists.

JR Quiñahan also came through for the Road Warriors, who avoided a 0-4 start, with 17 points.

NorthPort kept it close despite losing one of its main gunners in Sean Anthony, who suffered a right hamstring injury in the first quarter.

Kevin Ferrer had 18 points while rookie Sean Manganti added 16, including a basket that pulled the Batang Pier to within one, 77-76, with still 10:27 to go.

NorthPort, however, scored just two points in the next six minutes as NLEX, led by the tandem of Ravena and Alas, got into its groove.

The Batang Pier, who slipped to 0-4, went without a field goal for a six-minute stretch in the final frame before Christian Standhardinger ended the drought at the 4:08 mark.

Standhardinger grabbed 13 rebounds and had five assists but only scored seven points and took only six shots in close to 39 minutes of action.