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Hot start for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas

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Kiefer Ravena played like a ball of fire as he ignited a declining Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas to a come-from-behind 73-65 victory over the hefty and taller BC Astana from Kazakhstan to share leadership after the opening day of Fiba Asia Champions Cup at the Chenzhou Sports Center in China.

With his team almost losing hope due to rough and physical plays of Astana, Ravena spew fire upon his entry into the game in leading the Manok ng Bayan into overcoming a 34-43 deficit and regaining back the lead at 57-55 at the close of the third.

Ravena drilled 11 of his total of 22 points in the telling third period to bail out the Team Pilipinas, while also contributing three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Naturalized player prospect Isaiah Austin also dished out a dominating presence with his collection of 17 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks in his game for the national squad.

Chooks-to-go immediately torched the net with a 7-0 blast at the start of the game but immediately lost steam in the second quarter when Astana unload a flurry of triples to post an eight point lead at the end of the first half.

Astana make things interesting as Justin Carter and Alexander Zhigulin drilled back-to-back three-pointers to move to within two, 63-65, with 3:44 remaining. However, Chooks’ unload a stifling defense that forces Carter to miss two shots from beyond the arc in the final minute.

Then, Ravena, Austin, and LA Revilla shake the rivals with timely baskets.

Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas will face Palestine team Sarreyet Ramallah today, Saturday, at exactly 4:45 p.m. Angie Oredo

The Scores:

Chooks To Go (73) – Ravena 22, Austin 17, Manuel 10, Jeric Teng 7, Jose 6, Revilla 5, Cruz 2, Torres 2, Jeron Teng 1, Tamsi 1, Vosotros 0.

BC Astana (65)- Gavrilov 11, Clemmons 10, Carter 10, Murzagaliyev 8, Zhigulin 8, Degtyarev, Yergali 6, Marchuk 2, Kolesnikov 2, Chsherbak 0.

Quarterscores: 21-19, 35-43, 57-55, 73-65

By Angie Oredo