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Ravena putting team above all

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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.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ravena putting team above all    “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.

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