Kiefer Ravena braces for tough examination from crack SMB pair of Ross and Cabagnot
"Di naman masyadong mahirap," Kiefer Ravena deadpanned on facing unbeaten league-leader SMB and the formidable backcourt pair of Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot. Jerome Ascano

KIEFER Ravena continues to gauge where he ranks among the country's best playmakers as he takes on not just one, but two elite defenders in NLEX's PBA Philippine Cup matchup against San Miguel Beer on Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The rookie sensation fared well against Paul Lee in the Road Warriors' 105-94 loss to Magnolia last Sunday, scattering 31 points, five assists, four boards, four steals, and zero turnover in 32 minutes that went for naught.

But Ravena will have his work cut out against the Beermen on both ends - trying to get past two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year Chris Ross and staying in front of offensive dynamo Alex Cabagnot.

“Di naman masyadong mahirap yon (SMB),” Ravena joked about taking on two of the best backcourt players in the league today. “With Chris, first team All-Defensive and Alex, one of the best pick-and-roll guards in the league."

Apart from the backcourt duo, the Road Warriors also have to worry about reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, and Marcio Lassiter who complete SMB's fearsome five.

"Sometimes you have to pick your poison and they have five poisonous guys on the floor every single time," Ravena said ahead of the faceoff at 7 p.m.

NLEX has lost two straight games after a 2-0 start to the season and the former Ateneo star knows the Road Warriors must play close to perfect to end the losing skid.

“So you have to live with that, find a way to win,” he added. “We have to want it kasi eh. We have to see what we did in the first two games and find it deep in ourselves to execute and do the same things to help us win.”

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