Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) – October 22, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the emergence of the first “suspect case” of COVID-19 in the PBA bubble, the NLEX Road Warriors went about their business on the hardcourt and finally got their breakthrough.

Leaning on the solid outings of Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas and JR Quiñahan, the Road Warriors punched through with their first win in four starts in the Philippine Cup with a 102-88 rout of NorthPort yesterday.

Ravena scattered 25 points with five rebounds and four assists, while Alas submitted a 16-10 plus six feeds and Quiñahan accounted for 17-5-3 as they took charge in the 14-point victory at the AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.

“It’s definitely more difficult than usual to motivate the team (during the skid) because of the circumstances we’re in,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. “We just tried to be as positive as much as we can. We felt if we could sustain our energy for four full quarters, lift one another up, we can still make something out of this tournament.”

The troika of Ravena, Quiñahan and Alas provided the anchor as NLEX seized control in the second canto and repeatedly countered every NorthPort rally to clear the way for the morale-boosting victory.

Defensively, NLEX held Christian Standhardinger to seven markers on a 3-of-6 field shooting.

NorthPort’s bid was badly affected by the hamstring injury that forced Sean Anthony out of the game in the first quarter. Anthony managed only six and a half minutes on the floor, missing his one and only attempt while logging three assists and two steals.

“We did a good job against Christian. We prepared for him as he’s a key player. If he plays well, most likely they’ll win. We did that and we (also) got a big break when Sean Anthony wasn’t able to get back into the game,” said Guiao.

Kevin Ferrer took the offensive cudgels for NorthPort.

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