After starting the PBA Philippine Cup bubble with three straight losses, the NLEX Road Warriors finally secured their first win at the expense of the NorthPort Batang Pier, 102-88, on Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
Kiefer Ravena led the way with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while JR Quinahan chipped in 17 points as the Road Warriors arrested a three-game slide.
After cutting the deficit to just 1, 78-77, NorthPort failed to capitalize as NLEX went on a massive 18-1 run in the middle of the final frame that put the lead up to 96-78, which sealed the game for the Road Warriors.
“We were just trying to be positive as much as we can. We felt that if we could sustain our energy and if we could just lift each other up and be positive, maybe we can still make something out of this tournament,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.
“We were able to sustain our energy. Our past 3 losses, we were like good for 2 or 3 quarters. At least for now, we were able to stay until the 4th quarter,” added Guiao.
JR Quiñahan, who struggled in NLEX’s last outing, redeemed himself as he contributed 17 points and 5 rebounds in Road Warrior’s first-ever win in the PBA bubble. Kevin Alas had an all-around game of 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Unfortunately for Batang Pier, despite grabbing 13 rebounds and five assists, Christian Standhardinger failed to reach his usual double-digit output, scoring only seven points in all quarters.
Kiefer Ravena With The Spin
A recurring foot injury didn’t stop Kevin Ferrer from tallying 18 points, while rookie Sean Manganti netted 16 points for the winless Batang Pier.
Batang Pier’s ordeal didn’t end just yet as Team manager Bonnie Tan disclosed to Tiebreaker Times that the initial diagnosis on Sean Anthony is a strained hamstring. Now understaffed, NorthPort has already sent a request to Dr. Raul Canlas, the PBA medical committee head in the bubble, for an MRI on the veteran forward.
Anthony appeared shaken up with 31 seconds remaining in the opening period. He was subbed out during the 2nd period and did not return to action since. The 34-year-old left the game with three assists, two rebounds, and two steals. NorthPort now occupies the bottom of the team standings with a 0-4 card.
NLEX Vs NorthPort Box Score
Quarters : 20-15, 49-39, 75-68,102-88
Road Warriors (102) – Ravena 25, Quinahan 17, Alas 16, Cruz 10, Miranda 9, Porter 8, Soyud 7, Ayonayon 6, Ighalo 2, McAloney 2, Galanza 0, Semerad 0, Paniamogan 0, Galanza 0
Batang Pier (88) – Manganti 16, Ferrer 18, Lanete 13, Revilla 8, Elorde 8, Standhardinger 7, Taha 6, Subido 6, Cruz 0, Anthony 0, Nabong 2