Kiefer Ravena and the NLEX Road Warriors used a late-game magic to slip past the Alaska Aces, 105-99, in the Game 1 of their 2018 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena Monday night.
The sixth-seeded Road Warriors erased a two-possession deficit in the final three minutes before outsteadying the Aces late to secure the win and take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three showdown.
Kiefer Ravena did not disappoint in his first playoff game with clutch plays, as he found Michael Miranda for a jumper, before converting on a layup and calmly making two free throws to give NLEX a comfortable cushion with only seven seconds left.
The NLEX rookie registered game-high 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, on top of eight assists, one board and one steal. Larry Fonacier had 18 points and nine rebounds.
Kevin Alas supplied 17 markers with six assists and five rebounds. JR Quiñahan chipped in 12 points and 10 boards, while Michael Miranda ended up with 10 points.
Wanting to make their first semifinal appearance, the NLEX Road Warriors will try to sweep the series and take out the Alaska Aces on Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
NLEX 105 – Ravena 25, Fonacier 18, Alas 17,.Quiñahan 12, Miranda 10, Baguio 8, Al-Hussaini 4, Taulava 4, Soyud 4, Tiongson 3, Mallari 0, Gotladera 0.
ALASKA 99 – Banchero 20, Abueva 18, Enciso 16, Manuel 13, Thoss 11, Casio 8, Magat 4, Teng 4, Racal 4, Baclao 1, Exciminiano 0, Cruz 0.
Quarter scores: 24-22, 50-40, 74-72, 105-99.