The NLEX Road Warriors started life without star guard Kiefer Ravena on a winning note as they triumphed over the Alaska Aces, 84-74, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Thursday at the Don Honorio Ventura Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
With Ravena currently in Japan to tend to his requirements for his upcoming stint for Shiga in Japan’s B.League, it was Kevin Alas who picked up the scoring cudgels as he tallied 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block to help NLEX improve to 3-2 (win-loss) for the season.
It was a hard-earned win for the Road Warriors, which trailed, 40-50, in the third canto before turning things around with a massive 19-5 run that put them ahead, 59-55, heading to the last 12 minutes of action.
They then held steady down the stretch, with Cebuano forward JR Quiñahan scoring a layup with 1:20 to go to give NLEX an eight -point lead, 82-74.
Quiñahan, a veteran forward by way of the University of the Visayas, led the team in scoring with 18 points while Jericho Cruz and Kenneth Ighalo added 15 markers apiece with the latter making six of his eight attempts from the field.
Alaska got 17 points from Maverick Ahanmisi and 16 from Mike DiGregorio but it was not enough to keep the Aces from dropping to 2-4.
The Scores :
NLEX 84 – Quinahan 18, Alas 17, Ighalo 15, Cruz 15, Oftana 8, Paniamogan 6, Miranda 5, Porter 0, Ayonayon 0, McAloney, Trollano 0
ALASKA 74 – Ahanmisi 17, DiGregorio 16, Brondial 8, Herndon 7, Banal 7, Teng 5, Tratter 4, Stockton 4, Casio 4, Ebona 2, Ilagan 0
Quarters : 20-19, 38-37, 59-55,84-74 (JNP)