NLEX Road Warriors snapped a three-game slide in the 2020 Philippines Basketball Association Philippine Cup by posting a decisive 102-88 victory over the NorthPort Batang Pier, today, Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center Powered by Smart 5G.
The Road Warriors leaned on high scoring guards—Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas— as well as do-it-all big man JR Quiñahan to lead them to the lopsided win.
Sean Manganti converted a jumper as NorthPort cut the NLEX lead to just a point, 77-76, early in the fourth. But the Road Warriors countered with a 14-1 blast capped by layups by Ravena, Mike Miranda and Alas to hike the NLEX to 14 big points, 77-91, with five minutes to play.
Two minutes later, Ravena converted a layup and a free throw while Alas made a jumper to power a 7-3 NLEX run to virtually settle the outcome of the match as NLEX led by 18 big points, 98-80, with just three minutes left to play.
Quiñahan finished with17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal to go home with the Best Player of the Game award.
The versatile forward credited NLEX coach Yeng Guiao with motivating his players to recover their wits and bounce back with a win after three consecutive losses.
“Simple lang sinabi ni coach sa amin. Nabaon na kami. We are in a hole. Sabi niya we just need to do ‘the right thing.’ Sinimplihan lang niya ang dapat gawin,” said Quiñahan.
“Then, nag-usap-usap kaming mga player kahapon. Kailangan mag contribute lahat ng players. Yon naman ang gusto ni coach. Yung points ma-distribute sa maraming players.”
Kris Porter and Cruz each converted a field goal to extend the NLEX lead to 7 points, 75-68, after three quarters.
NorthPort missed a valuable cog when forward Sean Anthony limped out of the game with 31 seconds left in the first period with a suspected hamstring injury.
With the win, the Road Warriors (1 win, 3 losses) climbed into a tie at tenth place with the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok (1-3) while relegating the Batang Pier (0-4) to the bottom of the heap.
Leading the standings are unbeaten teams TNT Tropang Giga (4-0), Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (3-0) and Ginebra San Miguel (3-0).
The other teams include the Phoenix Super LPG (2-1), the Alaska Aces (2-2), the Blackwater Elite (2-2), the Meralco Bolts (2-2), the San Miguel Beermen (2-2) and the Terrafirma Dyip (0-3).
The Road Warriors led from the start but lost the lead briefly late in the first. Jericho Cruz drove strong into the paint and converted a layup to cap a 7-0 NLEX run which propelled the Road Wariors to a 5-point, 20-15, advantage after the first period.
NLEX leaned on their outstanding young guards in Ravena and Alas to extend the lead after two quarters. Alas converted a pair of free throws followed by a jumper by Ravena to extend the NLEX lead to 10 points, 49-39, at halftime.
NLEX Road Warriors 102—Kiefer Ravena 25, JR Quiñahan 17, Kevin Alas 16, Jericho Cruz 10, Mike Miranda 9, Kris Porter 8, Raul Soyud 7, Mike Ayonayon 6, Kenneth Ighalo 2, Will McAloney 2, Paul Galanza 0, Philip Paniamogan 0, Anthony Semerad 0.
NorthPort Batang Pier 88—Kevin Ferrer 18, Sean Manganti 16, Garvo Lanete 13, LA Revilla 8, Paolo Taha 8, Nico Elorde 8, Christian Standhardinger 7, Renz Subido 6, Kelly Nabong 2, Sean Anthony 0, Jervy Cruz 0, Bradwyn Guinto 0.
Quarter scores: 20-15, 49-39, 75-68, 102-88.