NLEX tops Blackwater in shootout to regain solo lead

Published September 29, 2019, 7:36 PM By Jonas Terrado

STA. ROSA, Laguna — NLEX topped Blackwater, 115-109, Sunday in a game that set a record for most combined threes with 37 to regain the solo lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex here.

NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena is guarded by Blackwater’s Ray Parks Jr. during their first faceoff as PBA cagers. (PBA Images)

Kiefer Ravena, Kenneth Ighalo and Philip Paniamogan for 13 of the Road Warriors’ 18 triples to register their third straight win before heading to Dubai for two difficult matches against the San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra.

“We’ve been shooting the three-point shot well the last three games so I hope it continues on the next game in Dubai,” said coach Yeng Guiao, whose team leaves for the progressive city in the Middle East on Wednesday.

Ravena continued his impressive start since returning from an 18-month FIBA suspension, posting 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Ighalo and Paniamogan added 12 points each.

Import Olu Ashaolu topscored with 31 points while adding 10 boards to put NLEX one win away from tying the best start in the history of the team’s participation in the pro loop.

The Road Warriors won their first four outings to open the 2017 Governors’ Cup, the first time the franchise made the playoffs under coach Yeng Guiao.

Rookie Ray Parks Jr. hit 28 points and added four rebounds, six assists and two steals but Blackwater dropped to 0-2.

Blackwater made a franchise-tying mark of 19 triples with Parks and fellow rookie Paul Desiderio, who scored a career-high 24, draining six apiece.

But NLEX was able to sustain its hot three-point shooting since the start of the contest, with Ravena draining back-to-back attempts from rainbow country, putting his team ahead 106-95 with 5:45 to go in the fourth.

The shootout highlighted the first game between second generation players and former UAAP foes Ravena and Parks as pro cagers.

But it took until the start of the second half before the two would be on the same floor, with Parks rarely guarding Ravena.

The scores:

NLEX 115 — Ashaolu 31, Ravena 25, Paniamogan 12, Ighalo 12, Quinahan 10, Varilla 7, Lao 6, Fonacier 5, Galanza 5, Paredes 2, Miranda 0, Cruz 0, Soyud 0.

BLACKWATER 109 — Parks 28, Desiderio 24, Blakely 18, Maliksi 13, Belo 9, Cruz 8, Sumang 3, Cortez 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Alolino 2, DiGregorio 0, Dario 0, Javier 0.

Quarters: 19-25; 52-46; 85-81; 115-109.

Tags: 2019 PBA Governors' Cup , Blackwater Elite , NLEX Road Warriors