ANTIPOLO – Kiefer Ravena stayed away from controversy as he carefully picked his words after NLEX’s 87-78 loss to Magnolia in Game Five of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Sunday night.
Asked for his thoughts on the game, the Road Warriors rookie sensation began by pointing to the breaks that went in the Hotshots' favor, then bit his tongue before he could say anything sensitive.
“Siguro ganun talaga. Breaks of the game weren’t going our side, but we’ll take this loss in stride, learn from it, and probably… takot ako ma-fine eh,” Ravena said. “We’ll see how it goes in the next game.”
Both teams complained about some questionable calls throughout the game.
The Hotshots committed more fouls, 25-24, but took more free throws than the Road Warriors, although just slightly, 26-20.
Asked particularly about the Hotshots’ run to start the fourth and pull away in a close game, Ravena conceded again to the breaks that went the Hotshots’ way, although he didn’t take anything away from Magnolia’s defensive effort.
“Okay, no comment. Breaks of the game, it happens,” Ravena said. “Sometimes it happens to your side, sometimes sa kalaban. Sabi nga ni coach, ito yung mga talo na kailangan mong i-take. Wala kang gagawin. We held them down to 39, something percent offensively, okay naman. ‘Di ko alam kung mas mababa kami. Defensively, we were there.”
“I would summarize it all in that four-, five-minute stretch where we couldn’t buy baskets, a corner three from Larry, Alex, layup from Cyrus, lahat nagmimintis on their shots they normally make,” he added. “Credit to the defense of Magnolia as well.”
Ravena found holes in the Hotshots’ defense late in the game, scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, finishing with five assists, one board, and zero turnover in 31 minutes off the bench.
But the Phenom admitted he missed the presence of backcourt partner Kevin Alas, who had to leave early due to a knee injury.
“That was big, kinda messed up our rotation,” Ravena said. “Wala pang one minute into the game and he was one of those who were motivating us as one of our co-captains. He was really motivating us before the game, reminding us to be sharp, and that happens.”
“We’re praying for him,” he added. “He’s an integral part of this system and an integral part of this franchise. We wish him the best and hopefully, he can play next game.”