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    PBA yearender: NLEX adjusting to life without Kiefer Ravena

    Dec 30, 2021
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    Kiefer Ravena is with the struggling Shiga Lakestars in the B.League as coach Yeng Guiao and the Road Warriors are off to a fine start in the PBA Governors' Cup.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    NLEX made headlines ahead of the Philippine Cup resumption, with its star player leaving the squad for Japan. But the Road Warriors closed the year with hope for a strong finish in the season-ending Governors' Cup. Here are the highlights of NLEX’s campaign for 2021.

    GALLANT STAND IN PHILIPPINE CUP

    The Road Warriors tallied a 5-6 record in the Philippine Cup eliminations but still found themselves as the seventh seeds in the quarterfinals. NLEX was able to force a rubber match against twice-to-beat Meralco with an 81-80 win, but was eventually ousted by the Bolts in the knockout game.

    ASI TAULAVA PLAYS 22ND SEASON

    After speculations about his future, Asi Taulava returned to the active roster during the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, formally playing his 22nd season by suiting up in a lopsided encounter against Terrafirma on Dec. 18.

    Asi TaulavaAsi Taulava is still seeing action in the PBA at 48.

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      HOT START IN GOVERNORS’ CUP

      The Road Warriors started the first import-flavored conference during the pandemic with four straight wins, aided by the effort of former NBA player and ex-TNT import KJ McDaniels. NLEX tied the franchise record for best start in a conference.

      NLEX GIVES UP NO. 4 PICK

      The Road Warriors had two first rounders entering the Season 46 Draft last March, but they gave up their fourth pick to TNT in a trade that also involved Blackwater. Under the deal, the Road Warriors received Don Trollano, Maurice Shaw, Roi Sumang, and a draft pick. The deal allowed TNT to acquire Mikey Williams at No. 4. NLEX used the No. 3 selection to obtain Calvin Oftana, who in his first conference with the team set a rookie record with eight threes in a game against Meralco last September 22.

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      Calvin OftanaCalvin Oftana has been doing well in the NLEX system.

      RAVENA HEADS TO B.LEAGUE

      NLEX lost its franchise playerKiefer Ravena during the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup as the star guard signed a deal to play for the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B.League. The move caused controversy following the announcement by the Lakestars in June that Ravena is joining the squad, while still under contract with NLEX. After a few games with NLEX in the Philippine Cup, Ravena finally got the clearance from the PBA, which was announced on July 24. Under the terms, Ravena, who apologized to the league for the controversy, will play one season with Shiga before returning to NLEX.

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      Kiefer Ravena is with the struggling Shiga Lakestars in the B.League as coach Yeng Guiao and the Road Warriors are off to a fine start in the PBA Governors' Cup.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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