Ravena, Quinahan lead balanced scoring to go 2-0 in the Philippine Cup.
After getting Kiefer Ravena as the 2nd overall pick from this year's draft, many people thought that the arrival of the Phenom could help the NLEX Road Warriors contend for a championship. After all, Ravena contributed in the 5-peat run of the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in the UAAP, a run that stretched from 2008 to 2012 under Norman Black.
Fast forward to the opening conference of the 43rd season of the PBA, Kiefer Ravena has been living up the hype that was built around him as he continued his phenomenal start to his long-anticipated PBA career. On Christmas Day, the Phenom led the NLEX Road Warriors to a 115-104 victory over the GlobalPort Batang, taking advantage of the absence of 3-time scoring champion, Terrence Romeo and overcoming Stanley Pringle's 33 points.
Outside of Kiefer Ravena's brilliance on the court, Yeng Guiao was able to get the most from his team like he always does. Below are the things that won the game for NLEX:
Sure, Stanley Pringle exploded for 33 points, going 11 for 21 on the field while playing for 41 minutes but he was one of the only 2 starters of GlobalPort who scored in double figures.
On the other side, NLEX had 5 of their starters who scored at least 8 points, led by Kiefer Ravena who had 20 points and 5 assists. JR Quinahan followed that up with his 19 points and 9 rebounds which earned him the Best Player of the Game award. Larry Fornacier had 12 points despite his shooting woes while fellow Ateneo alumnus, Juami Tiongson scored 10 points.
25 Turnovers Hurt GlobalPort
Playing without their star, Terrence Romeo could have played a role in the Batang Pier's defeat to open their season but they turned the ball over, 25 times- a thing that the Road Warriors took advantage of as they scored 24 points from those turnovers. In contrast, the Batang Pier only forced 16 turnovers from NLEX and only scored 15 points from those NLEX miscues.
59 Points from NLEX's Bench
As mentioned above, Yeng Guiao has been known as a coach who is getting the most out of his players- most especially from his bench troopers. Against the Batang Pier, the bench of NLEX exploded for 59 points- a far contrast from the 43 points of the bench players of GlobalPort.
Whether or not Kiefer Ravena can keep up his phenomenal performance especially against the elite teams is something that we all have to wait and see. But given the fact that he's playing under Yeng Guiao, we can all bet that Ravena is already the top bet for this season's Rookie of the Year. And who knows, the dynamic duo of the Phenom and Kevin Alas might be the missing piece for Yeng Guiao to add another championship under his belt.