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'Phenomenal' NLEX rookie Ravena named PBA week's best player

NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena in action against GlobalPort. | PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Freshman guard Kiefer Ravena has been living up to the high expectations two games into the PBA’s 43rd season.

The young Ravena has been phenomenal during his first week as a pro, posting stellar averages of 19 points, 8.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2 steals to lead to victories against KIA and GlobalPort, respectively in the Philippine Cup.

Ravena’s inspired showing earned him the first PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the season to beat NLEX teammate JR Quinahan, San Miguel slotman June Mar Fajardo, Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter, Meralco forward KG Canaleta, and Rain or Shine’s big men Beau Belga as well as Raymond Almazan.

The former two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player got off to an explosive debut as a rookie after churning out a near triple-double output of 18 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds to help NLEX shake off a tough KIA Picanto side, 119-115 during their season debut last December 20.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao had nothing but glowing words for NLEX’s prized recruit.

“I had no doubt he can make an impact and lead the team as I was hoping. That’s exactly what he did. He’s going to be special,” Guiao said of Ravena, who was selected second overall in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.

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Five days later, the 24-year-old former Ateneo stalwart proved that his impressive debut was no fluke after leading NLEX past GlobalPort, 115-104 on Christmas Day at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The sweet-shooting guard finished with 20 points, to go along with five assists, 4 steals and two rebounds against a GlobalPort side that relied heavily on Stanley Pringle as the Batang Pier will continue to miss the services of an injured Terrence Romeo.

NLEX will be gunning for its third straight win in the all-Filipino conference when it returns to action on January 7 against Phoenix at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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