Kiefer Ravena keeps focus after gratifying win, braces for 'more intense' Game Two
Kiefer Ravena led NLEX to the franchise's first postseason win in its four-year history. Jerome Ascano

AS he fell down after scoring the insurance layup over two defenders off a jumpball situation, Kiefer Ravena quickly stood up and threw a punch in the air in a show of emotion on Monday night.

It was understandable as the rookie sensation spared NLEX the blushes after they wasted an early 11-point lead on the way to securing a 105-99 win over Alaska to take Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal series.

“Medyo lumabas eh, hindi ko napigilan (yung emotion), kasi down din kasi kami nun eh,” Ravena said. “Everybody locked in and focused dun sa last minute and a half; I would say kaya medyo lumabas yung emotions ko.

“Siguro it's part of my game na lang, big plays and grit and grind,” he added.

Ravena took matters into his own hands, scoring 12 of his game-high 25 points in the payoff period, including that layup that put them up, 100-96, with 20 seconds left after dishing out the assist to Michael Miranda for the go-ahead floater in the play before.

“Siguro gusto ko lang din talaga manalo,” the 24-year-old playmaker said. “I was really in the zone during the game kasi sayang di ba, nagpakahirap ka buong conference, nandito ka na tapos magre-relax ka lang.

“It's just a best-of-three series, hindi siya best-of-seven na minium four games lalaruin niyo, ito pwedeng dalawa lang so yung mga ganitong games kailangan ma-capitalize,” he added.

But as gratifying as the win was, Ravena and the Road Warriors are moving on as they set their sights on Game Two on Wednesday night when they aim to sweep the Aces.

“Kahit gaano kasarap yung panalo, kailangan namin kalimutan and focus on Game Two,” he said after leading the Road Warriors to their first postseason win in its four-year franchise history.

“It's nice to be part of history of the franchise,” Ravena said. “But we're not satisfied, that wasn't the goal that we set during the start of the season. It's nice to have that feat and hopefully we get another taste of history for the franchise by making it to the semis.

“We're one foot in, hopefully we get the other foot in too and close the door,” he added.

“Alaska is gonna come hard so we have to keep our feet on the pedal, focus, and forget this win,” he continued. “Recover well in time for a more intense and physical Game Two.”


Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos