Kiefer Ravena finally suited up again for the NLEX Road Warriors in their tuneup versus Phoenix on Wednesday morning. The returning guard made his presence felt as he powered his side to a 114-77 rout at the Upper Deck Sports Center in Pasig City.
— NLEX Road Warriors (@ArangkadaNLEX) August 28, 2019
Ravena came off the bench and checked in at the 3:35-mark of the opening frame. His first two points – with 1:45 left in the said period – sparked the Road Warriors’ 8-0 run en route to a 26-14 lead 55 seconds into the second stanza.
The result was no longer in doubt after that, as NLEX sailed smoothly to the 37-point victory.
Ravena has returned following an 18-month suspension by FIBA for a doping violation after inadvertently taking a pre-workout drink with banned substances. He finished with 14 points in his first tuneup with the Road Warriors.
Ravena could have opted to focus on the national team, since they fly to China for the FIBA World Cup on Thursday. But the 25-year-old still played as he aims to fine-tune himself for the global meet that opens on August 31.
Import Olu Ashaolu top-scored for the Road Warriors with 23 points, including 15 in the third canto alone.
Larry Fonacier and Bong Galanza contributed 12 points apiece, while Philip Paniamogan and Raul Soyud chipped in 11 markers. All but one player fielded in by coach Yeng Guiao scored at least two points in the conquest.
Eugene Phelps – who’s playing for Phoenix for the third straight season – led the Fuel Masters with 21 points.
Alex Mallari and Jorey Napoles produced 11 points apiece. Dave Marcelo added 10 markers in the defeat.
Phoenix played without their top gunner Matthew Wright. The Filipino-Canadian swingman is still recovering from a peroneal tendon sprain, which he incurred during one of the national team’s practices last week.
Both squads are preparing for the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup, set to raise its curtains on September 20.
NLEX 114 – Ashaolu 23, Ravena 14, Fonacier 12, Galanza 12, Paniamogan 11, Soyud 11, Taulava 5, Monfort 5, Baguio 5, Cruz 4, Varilla 4, Ighalo 3, Lao 3, Paredes 2, Miranda 0.
Phoenix 77 – Phelps 21, Mallari 11, Napoles 11, Marcelo 10, Jazul 7, Chua 6, Kramer 4, Mendoza 4, Dennison 4, Wilson 0, Gamboa 0, Guevarra 0.
Quarterscores: 20-14, 52-37, 85-55, 114-77.