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Perasol looking for options outside of Ravena, Pessumal



Coach Bo Perasol and the Ateneo community had been waiting for this season.

This season marks the third year of coach Perasol’s run with the Blue Eagles. More importantly, this is the make-or-break year for his stint as the team now has all its blue-chip recruits and reinforcements in the lineup.

UAAP Season 75 Juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Season 76 Finals MVP Hubert Cani, UAAP Season 78 Juniors MVP Mike Nieto and his twin Matthew Nieto, former U17 National team member Aaron Black, and Nigerian student-athlete Chibueze Ikeh were all brought in to ease the burden of scoring off of co-captains Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal during their breaks. However, this has yet to happen consistently for the Katipunan cagers.

During the team’s three-game win streak, Ikeh, Pingoy, and Black have provided the scoring punch to complement the outputs of Ravena and Pessumal. In their game against the UST Tigers though, the lack of both offensive output and defensive stops from the bench unit sparked a game breaking 26-6 fourth quarter rally that led to the Eagles’ second loss in five outings.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Perasol looking for options outside of Ravena, Pessumal    “Six points only in a quarter and allow 26 points, talagang may problema. Especially during the fourth quarter. I think we need to do a better job of pacing our players. Siyempre medyo pagod na rin si Kiefer nung dulo,” Ateneo head coach Perasol said after the game. Kiefer Ravena played a game-high 35 minutes in that game. After scoring 12 points during the first three quarters, Ravena blanked all his shots in the final quarter and was just 1/4 from the charity stripe.

The UST rally began during the first few minutes of the fourth quarter that saw bench players like Pingoy and Black on the court. “Oo, it was the only time. In fact, yun din yung run. I was hoping that I could give Kiefer and Von a good time resting [sic]. Kasi alam ko they’re going to have another run and it went on early,” the third year coach said about his decision to rest his captains. “But I think again the point of that is that we were not able to get our shots early. Masyadong mababa yung six points. I think this was our lowest this season. Masyadong mababa. In terms of percentage, mababa din. We just shot 6% in the fourth quarter.”

Perasol defended the team’s skipper in saying that whatever happens they will stick with their captain during the crunch time. “At the end of they day, even if he was not making his shots, he still made the crucial shots of the game during nung three games namin. Kasi tumatrabaho din sa depensa. That’s really expected sa kanya. He knows his responsibilities. He knows the composition of our team.”

In five games, both Ravena and Pessumal are in the top ten in minutes per game in averaging 34.4 and 32 minutes per outing respectively. For the Ateneo mentor, he and his staff know that the team is currently lacking bench production. “I think it was more of a fatigue [factor]. Medyo napagod na rin siya nung dulo, I wanted to substitute him for the fourth quarter. I was hoping na we get a good run and then, at least mga two minutes, makapahinga siya pero nagtuloy-tuloy ang run. We all know na medyo mahihirapan kami, from off the bench, na nahihirapan yung unit na yun.”

Nonetheless, the Ateneo mentor knows that the lack of bench production is a challenge that needs to be solved for the team. “Even if we or he wanted to rest, Kiefer knows very well that with him not inside, it’s really going to cost us a little bit. Kung matatawid namin yun without him inside, it would be tremendous for us. That’s a challenge for us actually.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Perasol looking for options outside of Ravena, Pessumal    “Whoever it is who’s gonna step up, just like last game si Von stepped up. I think I need to see other players step up like si Gwynne [Capacio] and our point guards also to help in scoring. We know the composition of our team. Palagay ko we just have to defend well para makashoot kami.”

Even after the loss, coach Perasol still complimented the effort of his boys and is still optimistic about the next games. “If you take it away the last quarter, we were playing well. Kaya lang, nangyari sa end kaya nagmistulang pangit talaga. But we have to take it into the right perspective na maaga pa. We’re 3-2 and we’re still in the middle of the first round. We know na we can have a good first round,” he closed

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