PBA: Ravena leads NLEX in return from 18-month ban
Mark Escarlote on Sep 21, 2019 07:16 PM
Kiefer Ravena scored 20 points to lead NLEX in his return from an 18-month ban. (FILE PHOTO)
Kiefer Ravena announced his return from an 18-month ban on a positive note as he powered NLEX to a 123-116 win over Phoenix on Saturday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Big Dome.
Ravena opened his first day back in action in the PBA since serving his FIBA suspension with 20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 34 minutes of play for the Road Warriors, who needed to grind it out in the last one and a half minutes of the game to walk away with the victory.
“It’s a grind out game for us but we expected something like this,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.
The sophomore guard, who last played in the PBA back in May of last year, immediately made his presence felt, sinking four of his five triples in the opening quarter.
Olu Ashaolu sealed his 29-point performance with a slam in the closing seconds of the game and grabbed 11 rebounds and six assists for NLEX, who lost forward JP Erram early in the second quarter after hurting his left arm after getting tangled with Dave Marcelo while jockeying for position for a rebound. Erram was rushed to the hospital to check on the extent of his injury.
The Fuel Masters tried to rally late in the fourth quarter as they trimmed down their deficit to 116-113 with 1:27 left off a Eugene Phelps layup.
Ravena answered with two charities and assisted on a Jericho Cruz’s triple with 25 seconds left to break the back of Phoenix, 120-113.
Phelps led the Fuel Masters with 38 points and 10 rebounds while Matthew Wright got 24 markers.
NLEX (123) - Ashaolu 29, Ravena 20, Paniamogan 14, Fonacier 11, Varilla 11, Quinahan 10, Cruz 9, Miranda 7, Galanza 6, Ighalo 4, Soyud 2, Erram 0.
Phoenix (116) - Phelps 38, Wright 24, Chua 15, Mallari 14, Garcia 9, Jazul 7, Intal 5, Perkins 4, Marcelo 0, Potts 0, Kramer 0, Wilson 0.
Quarterscores: 27-29, 52-55, 94-84, 123-116.
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