BOCAUE -- NLEX turned to its standout playmaker in pouncing on a Globalport side that was without its own version, hammering out a 115-104 victory to gain the early lead in the Philippine Cup.
Kiefer Ravena continued to live up to expectations, scattering 20 points - punctuated by the last two on a breakaway slam - on top of five boards, four steals, two boards, and zero turnover in 29 minutes off the bench as the Road Warriors registered a second straight win.
"We just gave ourselves a really nice Christmas gift," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said. "Swerte rin kami that Terrence isn't playing."
Ravena buried the dagger triple from the left corner that gave the Road Warriors a 109-98 lead with a little less than two minutes left as the prized rookie took most of the spotlight in the absence of Batang Pier star Terrence Romeo, who is still recovering from a knee injury.
JR Quiñahan silently anchored the Road Warriors down low, tallying 19 points and missing a double-double by just one rebound, while fellow veteran Larry Fonacier added 12 points, seven boards, and seven assists.
Eight players scored at least eight points for the Road Warriors, getting quality minutes from young big men Fonzo Gotladera and Michael Miranda, who chipped in eight points apiece.
Without Romeo, backcourt partner Stanley Pringle was forced to carry most of the load, ending up with 33 points, 10 boards, four assists, and two steals that went for naught.
NLEX 115 — Ravena 20, Quiñahan 19, Fonacier 12, Tiongson 10, Alas 9, Baguio 8, Gotladera 8, Miranda 8, Mallari 6, Monfort 5, Rios 5, Taulava 3, Al-Hussaini 2.
Globalport 104 — Pringle 33, Anthony 19, Grey 13, Nabong 9, Araña 8, Elorde 5, Guinto 4, Juico 4, Taha 4, Flores 2, Sargent 2, Gabayni 1.
Quarterscores: 25-25; 50-45; 84-76; 115-104.