Kiefer Ravena (PBA Images)

NLEX and Meralco look to build on their recent wins when the two MVP Group-owned squads collide on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The Road Warriors (1-3) and Bolts (2-2) square off at 4 p.m. in a game that could help boost their playoff bids even though it is still almost halfway in the 32-day eliminations inside the PBA bubble.

Magnolia (1-3) and Phoenix Super LPG (2-2) try to snap their two-game skids in their faceoff at 6:45 p.m.

After a 0-3 start, NLEX produced a breakthrough win in the bubble two days ago with a 102-88 victory over NorthPort with Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas and JR Quinahan leading the way for coach Yeng Guiao’s wards.

Ravena is leading the Road Warriors in scoring at 18.8 points, Quinahan has been doing well through four games at 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds while Alas is playing as if he hadn’t injured his right ACL twice, posting 15.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

Guiao is also banking on his role players like Raul Soyud, Kris Porter, Michael Miranda and rookies Mike Ayonayon and Will McAloney to back up Ravena, Alas and Quinahan if the Road Warriors want to make it two straight.

Meralco, on the other hand, outlasted Magnolia, 109-104, in overtime last Tuesday as Chris Newsome made key shots in the extension while youngsters Trevis Jackson and Aaron Black picked up the slack from struggling veteran Baser Amer.

Newsome scored a season-high 23 points after averaging just 10.0 points in the previous three outings.

Bolts coach Norman Black was pleased to see Jackson and his son combine for 26 points in the win over the Hotshots, but he’ll probably be more content if Amer can finally snap out of his one-point outing the last time.

Meanwhile, Magnolia is determined to make up for its loss to Meralco behind Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Jackson Corpuz.

Phoenix has lost its last two games, including Wednesday’s 86-71 defeat to unbeaten Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Source: Manila Bulletin (