Kiefer Ravena endures flu in clutch Game 4 showing for NLEX
MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena was figuratively and literally hot in the NLEX Road Warriors' 91-79 Game 4 triumph over the Magnolia Hotshots on Friday, March 16.
Ravena poured in 20 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds to pace the Road Warriors in equalizing the best-of-7 semifinals series. Unknown to many, he played through the game with a flu.
The continuous game days seemed to have taken their toll on the NLEX super rookie as Ravena shared he found out he had the flu on the morning of Game 4.
"Ganito pala dito (I did not know it was like this)," said Ravena, referring to their grueling playoff schedule that saw the Road Warriors play 6 games in 11 days.
Despite his sickness, the 24-year-old looked nothing less of his usual self as he took over in NLEX's 4th quarter assault, firing 11 points in the payoff period.
He also scored all of the Road Warriors' last 7 points, capped with a huge triple with 1:42 minutes left, to prevent a potential Magnolia comeback.
For Ravena, the win was a step to the right direction as they were able to protect a big lead, a trait the Hotshots are known for.
"Pag lumalamang sila (Magnolia), grabe sila mag-alaga ng lamang. And for us to get better, we have to learn how to take care of leads. Hindi pwede na lalamang ka ng malaki, bibigay ka tapos ilalaban mo sa dulo."
(When they take a big lead, they are very good at protecting it. And for us to get better, we have to learn how to take care of leads. You cannot take a big lead, crumble down and try to fight it out in the end.)
"So during those last 5 minutes, I just didn’t want to let my team down because we worked so hard to build that lead," said Ravena.
Kiefer Ravena talks about protecting big leads against a veteran team like the Magnolia Hotshots. The NLEX Road Warriors even their best-of-7 series with a 91-79 Game 4 win. #PBA2018 @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/iDGHl5SNWe— delfin dioquino (@dioquinodelfin) March 16, 2018
Game 5 is on Sunday, March 18, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo and Ravena is not contented with just equalizing the series.
"[We'll] take this one, enjoy and savor it for a bit, go back to the drawing board, a few hours, wake up [and] practice because we know that Magnolia will make those adjustments. So hopefully, we’d take care of business sa side namin (on our side.)" – Rappler.com