Alas and Ravena combined for nine three-pointers and a total of 48 points as the Road Warriors roared to their fourth straight win and guaranteed themselves of a quarterfinals berth with a 6-4 win-loss card.

Warriors zoom past Elite, gain playoff
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - February 19, 2018 - 12:00am

BOCAUE, Philippines — Backcourt tandem Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena strung up five straight treys at the start of the fourth quarter to highlight their explosive showing that propelled NLEX past Blackwater, 93-90, for an outright playoff entry in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Philippine Arena here last night.

Alas and Ravena combined for nine three-pointers and a total of 48 points as the Road Warriors roared to their fourth straight win and guaranteed themselves of a quarterfinals berth with a 6-4 win-loss card.

Ravena took charge through the first three quarters before Alas took over, pouring in 16 of his career-high 25 points in the fourth to personally hand the Elite their sixth loss against four wins.

“Kevin Alas saved the day for us. He made fantastic shots, that even I was surprised,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

“I’ve been egging on Alas to take three-point shots. I was telling him he’s under-using his outside game and relying much on his slashing. Today, he showed his outside shooting – the best I’ve seen from him so far,” Guiao also said. “I hope it sticks and it becomes a real part of his game.”

The Road Warriors were down by nine at 65-74 before Alas and Ravena banged in five successive treys at the start of the fourth, spiking a key 19-4 run that shoved NLEX ahead to stay, 84-78.

Later in the night, the badly undermanned Meralco team banked on sheer heart to pull the rug from under heavy favorite Barangay Ginebra, 84-82.

Garvo Lanete, Jason Ballesteros, Anjo Caram and Chris Newsome delivered in the absence of Cliff Hodge, Jared Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo as the Bolts notched a second straight win and tied the Elite. “It’s corny, it’s a cliché, but this is our championship. We said we just give our best shot and see what happens. The guys brought in that mentality,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

The scores:

First Game

NLEX 93 – Alas 25, Ravena 23, Tiongson 9, Quiñahan 8, Al-Hussaini 6, Mallari 5, Baguio 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 3, Miranda 3, Fonacier 2, Taulava 0, Gotladera 0.

Blackwater 90 – Digregorio 16, Jose 14, Erram 14, Maliksi 13, Sena 12, Belo 10, Palma 6, Marcelo 5, Pinto 0.

Quarterscores: 23-20, 41-46, 65-74, 93-90

Second Game

Meralco 84 – Lanete 19, Caram 16, Newsome 12, Hugnatan 12, Ballesteros 7, Salva 5, Amer 4, Bono 4, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Tolomia 0, Sedurifa 0.

Ginebra 82 – Aguilar 20, Thompson 17, Slaughter 12, Mercado10, CAguioa 6, Tenorio 5, Cruz 5, Devance 4, Mariano 3, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0.

Quarterscores: 15-20, 45-38, 67-64, 84-82

BLACKWATER KEVIN ALAS KIEFER RAVENA NLEX PBA YENG GUIAO
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