Ravena catches fire late as NLEX evens semis with Game 4 win over Magnolia

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Kiefer Ravena waxed hot in the 4th quarter and the NLEX Road Warriors equalized their best-of-7 semifinals series against the Magnolia Hotshots in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup with a 91-79 Game 4 triumph at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday, March 16. 

Ravena scored 11 of his 20 points in the payoff period as the Road Warriors returned to their winning ways following back-to-back losses. He also finished with 5 assists and 3 rebounds.

NLEX held a 71-62 lead midway through the final period before going on a 7-0 blitz, highlighted by back-to-back Alex Mallari and Larry Fonacier triples to pull away for good, 78-62.

Ravena put the finishing touches in the win, firing all of NLEX's last 7 points, capped by a trey, to prevent a Hotshots comeback. 

JR Quinahan added 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists and Kevin Alas chipped in 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals in the win. 

"A one and 3 win-loss record would practically be a foregone conclusion. Mahirap makabalik lalo 'pag Magnolia ang kalaban mo kung down ka ng 1 and 3 (It would have been hard to come back from down 1-3 especially when you are facing Magnolia). So we felt that urgency tonight and the boys stepped up," said NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao. 

Leading by a measly two points in after the half, 41-39, the Road Warriors unloaded 14 straight points to open the 3rd quarter for a 55-39 cushion. 

Ian Sangalang paced the Hotshots with 15 points and 14 rebounds but coughed up 6 turnovers.

Mark Barroca chalked up 11 points and 7 rebounds and Paul Lee had 11 points and 4 assists in the loss. 

Game 5 is on Sunday, March 18, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. 

The Scores:

NLEX (91): Ravena 20, Quiñahan 14, Alas 13, Fonacier 10, Baguio 9, Soyud 9, Rios 5, Tiongson 5, Mallari 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Miranda 0, Taulava 0

Magnolia (79): Sangalang 15, Barroca 11, Lee 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 9, Ramos 9, Simon 6, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 2, Brondial 0, Herndon 0, Melton 0, Mendoza 0

Quarter scores: 25-20, 41-39, 69-59, 91-79


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.