Skidding NLEX now in 'survival mode,' says Kiefer Ravena

MANILA, Philippines – It's just been 3 games into NLEX's Commissioner's Cup campaign but super rookie Kiefer Ravena admitted they are already in survival mode.

Things are looking bleak for the Road Warriors after they remained winless in 3 games  early in the conference after a 90-106 beating from the Meralco Bolts on Friday, May 4. 

Expectations were high for NLEX heading into the mid-season conference following a historic semi-finals appearance in the Philippine Cup and the acquisition of former NBA player Arnett Moultrie as import.

However, instead of carrying their winning momentum from the All-Filipino Cup, the Road Warriors have slipped to 11th place and have lost by an average of 12.3 points. 

"Parang mulat na mulat na 'yung mata ng other teams, kami nag-uunat pa," said Ravena. "Medyo kailangan na naming ano, kumbaga, maalimpungatan, for lack of a better term."

(It seems like everybody has fully woken up and we're still trying to stretch out of our slumber. We need to be quickly jolted out of sleep.) 

"We're in survival mode. It is what it is. We have to control what we can control and that is our standing right now which is 0-3."

Ravena, for his part, has been a steady force for NLEX, averaging 17.7 points, 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds. 

But the 24-year-old neophyte said they need each other to recover from their slump.

"Kailangan lang naming magtiwala sa isa't isa. Not saying that we are not, we just have to dig deeper and look inside ourselves na talagang we need one another to pull out wins." 

(We just need to trust each other. Not saying that we are not, we just have to dig deeper and look inside ourselves that we need one another to pull out wins.)

NLEX has a few days to gear up for its bid for a first triumph when it faces the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, May 11, at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna. 

"From that game on, we can't be thinking of making it to the playoffs muna (yet). We have to take it one game at a time. 'Cause it's tough to look that far and at the same time, we can't even take care of business by winning one game, 'di ba (right)?"

"So we have to be realistic at this point. We have to learn how to win once again." –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.