BOCAUE - Kiefer Ravena was once again in fiery form in his return to the Philippine Arena, but he had no hesitation deferring to teammate Kevin Alas in the fourth quarter.
With the defense all over him after scoring 13 points in a sizzling first quarter, Ravena gave way as Alas took over in the payoff period, leading NLEX to a 93-90 win over Blackwater for a guaranteed seat in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Sunday.
“Maganda sa team namin kahit sino, di ba?” Ravena said after he finished with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go three rebounds and three steals in the win.
“Ngayon si Kevin, siguro with that performance, it’s the right time for him to regain his confidence, the Kevin Alas of last year,” he added.
The former Ateneo star said unpredictability is one of NLEX's strengths under Yeng Guiao.
“For us, it’s always a good sign when other players step up. May game na puro yung veterans naman ang gumawa nung nag-struggle kami ni Kevin, so malaking bagay pag nagtutulungan lahat,” Ravena said.
NLEX is now ssured of a slot in the quarterfinals with a 6-4 record, but Ravena assured they won't be taking their feet off the gas pedal in their final game of the elimination round against TNT.
The mission is to avoid finishing in seventh or eight place at the end of the elims, he said.
“They’re not out yet, the odds are against them but for now, for us it’s all about positioning,” Ravena said. “Even though we’ve secured a spot in the quarterfinals, we want to continue the momentum and finish as high as we can kahit mahirap na for twice-to-beat.”