Ateneo role players lauded for effort vs Adamson
|Adamson's Ingrid Sewa (C) forces his way past Ateneo's Ivan Enriquez (16) and Von Pessumal (19) during their second round meeting in the UAAP Season 76 men's basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum last Sunday. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com|
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo guard Kiefer Ravena was full of praise for his unheralded teammates who provided the energy for the Blue Eagles in their 79-66 victory against the Adamson Soaring Falcons yesterday.
The Blue Eagles blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Falcons 24-6 and getting contributions from players like Nico Elorde, Von Pessumal, Ivan Enriquez and Gwyne Capacio.
Ateneo nearly squandered the lead in the fourth period, but the cushion was big enough for them to withstand Adamson’s late charge.
“Yung teammates ko, sila Von, Gwyne, Nico Elorde, hindi mo makikita ‘yung ginagawa nila sa stat sheet,” said Ravena, who shared scoring honors with Ryan Buenafe with 18 points.
“Yung tamang pag-pressure, 'yung tamang pag-deflect sa mga bola, sa mga entry passes sa bigs ng Adamson, hindi mo makikita ‘yun. Pero ‘yun ‘yung mga nako-contribute nilang lahat sa game,” he added.
“So that was very big for us, especially towards the end. Dahil malaki ‘yung lamang namin, at least meron kaming cushion.”
Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol also commended his role players, and stressed that they will always need to step up once their number is called.
“These guys are really capable of playing,” he said. “I am the one who always emphasizes to my players that whenever your time comes, you can’t back away from it, you have to deliver right away.”
“They were the ones who were able to deliver – Ivan, Von and Gwyne, even si Nico and Poy (Erram), who was able to bring energy into the ball game,” he added.
For Perasol, his first five can match-up “with any other starters in the league,” but it is the performance of the Ateneo role players that can push them over the top.
“My challenge to my players coming off the bench is to step up. Because if you can step up to the notch that I want you to be in, I think we can beat anybody,” said Perasol.
But Ravena also pointed out that all their efforts nearly amounted to nothing as they relaxed in the fourth period and Adamson trimmed their 27-point lead to just eight points.
“Mali ‘yung nag-relax kami,” said Ravena. “We have to take away that habit of relaxing if we have the lead. Story of the first round ‘yun eh. We have to focus now… We have to think of ourselves and focus.”