NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena in action against Phoenix Sunday. | PBA Images

Ravena unbowed despite lackluster outing in NLEX loss to Phoenix
Nelson Beltran ( - January 8, 2018 - 3:07pm

MANILA, Philippines – Clipped the last time out, prized rookie Kiefer Ravena was disappointed but not disheartened.

“It happens,” said Ravena, ruing his struggle that didn’t help the NLEX Road Warriors as they went down in a 95-102 loss to the Phoenix Fuel Masters at the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

“After two straight wins, we lost. It’s time to bounce back,” said Ravena, ready to put behind him his poor eight-point game against the Fuel Masters.

The No. 2 draft selection, sensational in his first two games, acknowledged the tougher effort dished out by his Gilas teammate Matthew Wright and the rest of the Phoenix team.

“It’s partly their defense but it’s something we could’ve avoided. Pero talo kami sa effort,” said Ravena as to the cause of their first loss after back-to-back wins versus the Kia Picanto and the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

It’s not lost on NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, who mentioned the 19-10 advantage of Phoenix on offensive rebounds.

“That’s almost 100 hundred percent difference. Offensive rebounding numbers were not really the fault of Kiefer alone. It’s a team thing and we have to take responsibility for that as a team,” said Guiao, taking the heat off Ravena who was 4-of-13 from the field, 0-of-2 from the stripe and committed two turnovers in their Sunday loss.

Ravena and Juami Tiongson muffed four crucial charities allowing the Road Warriors to keep their heads above water in the homestretch.

“They’re not poor free throw shooters. They’re very decent from the free throw line. But those things happen,” Guiao explained. “But what cannot happen is for you to lose second-chance points and offensive rebounding by that big a gap.”

Ravena sizzled with 18 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and two steals in their 119-115 nipping of the Kia Picanto then frolicked with 20 markers, five dish-offs, four steals and two caroms in their 115-104 conquest of the Batang Pier.

Then he fired blanks Sunday.

The Fuel Masters also shackled down Kevin Alas and Cyrus Baguio, and Phoenix coach Louie Alas credited their win on their conscious effort to contain the Road Warriors’ perimeter shooting.

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