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NLEX shuts down Magnolia to tie semis series

Kiefer Ravena finished off the Hotshots with a superb clutch push. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--NLEX stifled Magnolia for a 91-79 win in Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.

The Road Warriors held off the Hotshots down the stretch as their best-of-seven series is now tied at two wins apiece.

NLEX went to a good start, taking a 25-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Magnolia came alive in the second quarter and even took the lead, 39-36, before NLEX ended the quarter with five unanswered points to take a 41-39 halftime lead.

The Road Warriors' mini-run to end the first half eventually became a 19-0 run spanning through the third quarter as they opened the period with 14 straight points for a 55-39 cushion.

The Hotshots still inched closer, coming to within eight at some points of the period, before settling for a 10-point deficit, 59-69, entering the fourth.

Kiefer Ravena then took over in the fourth quarter, spoiling Magnolia's last dash to secure the win.

Ravena finished with 20 points, 11 coming in the fourth quarter including NLEX's last seven points in the game along with three rebounds, five assists, and one steal.

JR Quinahan added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four boards, three assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Ian Sangalang made 15 markers, 14 caroms, and one dime for Magnolia.

Justin Melton was scoreless in three minutes of play in his return from an injury.

Box Scores:

NLEX 91-Ravena 20, QuiƱahan 14, Alas 13, Fonacier 10, Baguio 9, Soyud 9, Tiongson 5, Rios 5, Mallari 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Taulava 0, Miranda 0

Magnolia 79-Sangalang 15, Lee 11, Barroca, Jalalon 10, Ramos 9, Dela Rosa 9, Simon 6, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 0, Melton 0, Brondial 0, Herndon 0

Quarters: 25-20, 41-39, 69-59, 91-79

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