Ravena says NLEX can't be 'choosy' after struggling to bag first win

BIÑAN CITY, Philippines — NLEX didn’t get the finish it wanted for its first win, but Kiefer Ravena said the team isn't in a position to be “choosy.”

The Road Warriors almost lost to the Phoenix Fuel Masters after squandering a 9-point lead in regulation before arresting their lousy play in overtime en route to a 120-115 win on Friday, May 11.

It was NLEX’s lone win in its first 4 outings and Ravena just felt relieved they have gotten out of the rut they’ve been in since the PBA Commissioner’s Cup kicked off.

We kind of played not to lose instead of fighting it out and really waiting for the final buzzer but again, we’ll take it. Nandito kami sa sitwasyon na hindi pwedeng maging choosy sa mga panalo,” said the 24-year-old.

(We kind of played not to lose instead of fighting it out and really waiting for the final buzzer but again, we'll take it. We are already in a position that we really can't be choosy with our wins.)

NLEX led 102-93 with two minutes left in regulation until the Fuel Masters rode on an 11-2 run to send the game into overtime.

The same thing happened in the extra period but the Road Warriors held on for the triumph.

While NLEX still needs polishing on how it closes out games, Ravena saw a silver lining with the way he and his teammates shared the ball.

In 42 of all the Road Warriors' field goals, 37 were assisted. That means almost 90% of their shots came from passes, including those during fastbreak opportunities. 

With the way they dished the ball, the Road Warriors shot 45% from the field and 46% from long range. 

"I don’t know if it's a conference high. It just goes to show the hours and hours of hard work and repetition na ginagawa namin lumabas sa ngayon (that we've been doing, it's showing up) with Alex (Mallari), Larry (Fonacier), everybody else stepping up from the 3," said Ravena. 

NLEX seeks to make it two in a row against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on May 16 at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com

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.