Kiefer wills NLEX to close Game 1 win over Alaska

Paul Lintag on Mar 05, 2018 06:44 PM
Kiefer wills NLEX to close Game 1 win over Alaska
The Phenom willed the NLEX Road Warriors to victory over the Alaska Aces Monday at the MOA Arena, taking a 105-99 decision for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 quarterfinals of the 2018 Philippine Cup.

Kiefer Ravena's PBA playoff debut was simply sensational.

The Phenom willed the NLEX Road Warriors to victory over the Alaska Aces Monday at the MOA Arena, taking a 105-99 decision for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 quarterfinals of the 2018 Philippine Cup.

Tied at 96, Ravena found a wide-open Mike Miranda for the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds to go.

Miranda was fouled but he missed the bonus free throw. As both teams struggled for position, a double-lane violation was called to set up a jump ball at center court between Calvin Abueva and JR Quinahan.

Abueva won the tip but it was Kiefer that picked the ball up, racing to his team's basket to score a contested layup, giving the Road Warriors a 100-96 lead in th final 18 seconds.

After the Aces closed in, 99-101, with 7.8 seconds to go, Ravena calmly drilled two more free throws to seal the win for NLEX, putting the no. 6 seed Road Warriors a game closer to a breakthrough semifinals stint.

"Just relieved that Game 1 is over. The good news is we won this one," head coach Yeng Guiao said.

"Bad news is we have to go through this agame and it will be harder on Wednesday," he added.

After controlling most of the game and leading by as many as 11 points, the Road Warriors found themselves down by five in the fourth quarter.

With less than three minutes to go, NLEX even needed a four-point play from Larry Fonacier to force the game's final deadlock at 96-all, setting up Ravena's own heroics.

Kiefer finished with 25 points, 12 in the fourth period, on top of 12 assists while Fonacier added 18 points for NLEX.

Kevin Alas added 17 and the Road Warriors extended their mastery over Alaska, winning five straight games dating back to last season's Philippine Cup.

For the Aces, Chris Banchero was good for 20 points and Calvin Abueva dropped 18 to go along with 13 rebounds. Game 2 will be on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

 

The Scores:

NLEX 105 — Ravena 25, Fonacier 18, Alas 17, Quiñahan 12, Miranda 10, Baguio 8, Al-Hussaini 4, Soyud 4, Taulava 4, Tiongson 3, Gotladera 0, Mallari 0.

ALASKA 99 — Banchero 20, Abueva 18, Enciso 16, Thoss 11, Casio 8, Magat 4, Racal 4, Teng 4, Baclao 1, Cruz 0, Exciminiano 0.

Quarters: 24-22, 50-40, 74-72, 105-99.

 


---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

Latest News