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Ravena putting team above all



Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagle team captain Kiefer Ravena was much-maligned during the last four games of the team prior to their matchup against the Adamson Soaring Falcons.

During that stretch, the team lost three out of four games, including two crushing come-from-behind losses against rivals De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas. Ateneo’s Smart Elite ambassador was horrendous from the field in shooting just 28% from the field as averaged just 5.25 makes on 18.75 attempts. Moreover, during the fourth quarter of those games, Ravena was a combined 10 of 32 (31.25%) from the field.

Pundits have criticized Ravena of not trusting his teammates during the final stretches of the game. The Ateneo skipper heard this notions in saying that “a lot of people have been questioning my shooting percentage.”

In the Blue Eagles’ morale-boosting win against the Soaring Falcons, Ravena again topscored for the Katipunan cagers with 20 markers but was highly efficient from the field in shooting 50%. “Siguro with the help of coach Ronnie [Magsanoc] and coach Bo [Perasol], they really helped me to pick my spots and they were able to put me in the position where I am most comfortable,” he said about the turnaround. “Yung iba siguro pinipilit ko pero malaking bagay yung na-involve ko yung teammates ko kasi yun yung positive outcome ng panalo,” he admitted.

Beyond the points, the assist leader in the league today was able to dish out a season-high 11 dimes. He credited his teammates for that as he could not attained that feat without them. “A lot of positive things came out of this game,” he disclosed. “Unang-una yung production ni Aeron [Black], ni Isaac Go – a player who doesn’t play that much contained [Pape] Sarr in the latter parts of the game. As much as possible, lahat ng mga tulong na makukuha namin positive lahat yun especially in the latter part of the season.”

Kelangan magtuloy-tuloy lang. Hindi naman ako makakakuha ng 11 assists kapag hindi nashooshoot ng teammates ko. So credit to them.”

During that game, Ravena also proved that he will fight for his teammates as well. With six minutes to go in the third quarter, Vince Tolentino was freed underneath for an easy layup, Joseph Nalos tried to foul Tolentino but was only able to grab the head and the shoulders of the Atenean. It resulted to Tolentino crashing hard to the floor resulting to a flagrant two for Nalos. Seeing his teammate down and bloodied, Kiefer Ravena went to his teammates’ aid and confronted Nalos resulting to an unsportsmanlike foul.

UAAP 78 ADMU vs. AdU - Ravena-2935“Spur of the moment lang siguro. Nagulat kasi ako na nakita ko sumalpok yung ulo ni Vince [Tolentino]. I think teammate instincts lang,” Ravena explained. “I apologized to coach Mike [Fermin] and coach Vince [Hizon] after.”

“It’s just on-court instincts pero hindi naman niya [Joseph Nalos] sinadya. Probably he just broke his fall kaya siguro yun lang yung nakita niya para hindi rin siya bumagsak. Hindi rin natin masisisi and it’s not intentional. It’s just part of the game.”

The unsportsmanlike foul called on Ravena might cost him this year’s Most Valuable Crown as it resulted to a five-point deduction in the close statistical points race. Ravena does not mind it though as the only thing that matters for him is winning the championship together with his teammates.



Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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