Kiefer Ravena sinks game winner to push NLEX past Meralco
MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena came through in crunchtime and buried a game-winning shot to cap the NLEX Road Warriors' come-from-behind 87-85 triumph over the Meralco Bolts in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome Friday, February 9.
Ravena hit a midrange jumper over Chris Newsome with .9 of a second remaining as the Road Warriors overhauled a 10-point deficit midway the 4th period to improve to 4-4 and bag their second straight win following a 4-game slide.
NLEX trailed 72-82 with 4:53 minutes left in the 4th quarter before it went on a 13-0 salvo, highlighted by 5 straight points from Ravena off a layup and a triple, to lead 85-82.
The Bolts would tie the game as Newsome completed a 3-point play with 15.3 seconds before Ravena buried the dagger.
Ravena finished with 21 points, 9 coming in the final period, on a 7-of-12 shooting to go with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Larry Fonacier chalked 17 points and 6 rebounds, Kevin Alas had 15 points and 6 rebounds while Alex Mallari churned out a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
"Meralco practically was fighting for its life, that’s why they gave us a hard fight. I thought we had a really bad start, just like the start against Ginebra. Its a good thing we recovered, but I don't like winning this way. It’s too pressure-packed, too tension-filled. It’s good for the fans, but it’s bad for the coaches," said NLEX head coach Yeng Guaio.
The Road Warriors got buried by as much as 18 points in the first period, 8-26, before turning their fortunes around in the second quarter as they entered the break with a slim 38-37 lead.
The seldom-used Nico Salva had a breakout game of 20 points but that went down the drain as Meralco crashed to its 3rd straight loss for a 2-6 card.
Newsome finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists while Baser Amer added 14 points in the loss.
NLEX (87): Ravena 21, Fonacier 17, Alas 15, Mallari 12, Al-Hussaini 6, Quiñahan 6, Baguio 4, Gotladera 2, Miranda 2, Monfort 2, Uyloan 0, Soyud 0, Taulava 0
Meralco (85): Salva 20, Newsome 15, Amer 14, Hugnatan 10, Lanete 10, Caram 7, Canaleta 4, Hodge 3, Bono 2, Dillinger 0, Tolomia 0
Quarter scores: 10-26, 38-37, 62-65, 87-85