Ravena propels NLEX to a win, Blackwater pulls off the upset over San Miguel

Blackwater Elite 106 – San Miguel Beermen 96

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The Blackwater Elite leaned on the JP Erram and Mike DiGregorio late in the game to pull off a stunning upset over the San Miguel Beermen. Erram dominated the paint with 24 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks while DiGregorio led the team in scoring with 26 points.

The Beermen started off the game strong and built a seven-point lead at the end of the first period. That lead was cut down to just two points heading into the half as the Elite bigs went to work as as a collective. Erram continued to pop midrange jumpers as he led the team in the third quarter. Blackwater took a small lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Elite held a slim lead early in the fourth period when they finally pulled away from the Beermen. Renz Palma got the run started with a free throw and a layup, which was followed by four straight points from Erram. Blackwater ran out to a nine-point lead after that spurt. San Miguel tried to get back in the game and cut the lead to just six points. That was when DiGregorio took over to secure the win. He exploded for a personal 8-0 run that was sparked by a three-pointer. He hit two free throws and then buried the dagger trey with less than a minute left in the game.

NLEX Road Warriors 87 – Meralco Bolts 85

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Kiefer Ravena broke out of his slump at the right time as he lifted the NLEX Road Warriors to a big win over the desperate Meralco Bolts.

Meralco got a boost from a surprise contributor off the bench. Nico Salva scored 20 points to lead the Bolts in this game. His three-pointer from the top of the key gave Meralco a 10-point lead with 5:33 left in the game. It seemed like the game was going Meralco’s way at that point. The Road Warriors wouldn’t allow that to happen. They went on a 15-2 run led by Ravena and Larry Fonacier. The veteran wing got the run started with a big three-pointer from the top of the key. The rookie made several plays in the run to cut the lead down even further.

With less than a minute left in the game, Ravena got the ball at the top of the key, used an Alex Mallari screen and got the switch to a more favorable match-up. He isolated the slower Salva on the right wing and stepped back to launch a three-pointer to give NLEX a three-point lead. Merlaco came right back in the next possession as Chris Newsome attacked the paint and got the three-point play to tie the game at 85.

With 15 seconds left in the game, the Road Warriors went right to Ravena for the game-winner. He got the ball at the top of the key again but this time he drove to the left wing right at Newsome, his primary defender. He spun towards the middle and quickly pivoted the other way and launched a jumper over Newsome. The ball hit back iron and nestled into the hoop with 0.9 seconds left in the game. The Phenom has his first game-winner in the professional league.

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