Winning record not enough for Ravena, Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines – It took them nine games, but the five-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles finally have a winning record in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament.
Ateneo held off a late rally by the Adamson Falcons to win their fifth game of the season against four losses. It was also their fourth straight victory after having started the season with three consecutive defeats.
But Ateneo star guard Kiefer Ravena insisted that the Blue Eagles were after a lot more than simply a winning record.
“For us, it’s been a while since we’re above .500,” Ravena said after their game against Adamson. “It’s always a challenge for us, it’s something new, and it’s also the journey of the team this year.”
“And it’s also great for Coach Bo (Perasol) that after nine games, lumampas din kami ng .500. But we’re definitely not satisfied, because this is not our goal,” he added.
“Our goal is not to end the season with a winning record, but to win the six-peat,” Ravena stressed. “So we have to take it a day at a time and try to improve.”
Perasol said Ravena’s presence had a lot to with Ateneo’s run of success. The former Rookie of the Year suffered a calf injury before the start of the season and had to sit out a few games.
“Kung mapapansin niyo, ‘yung four wins na ‘yun, not for anything else, nandoon si Kiefer,” Perasol said. “Alam naman nila na ‘yung stability, ‘yung leadership, nanggagaling kay Kiefer.”
The Blue Eagles will try to make it five in a row when they take on the league-leading Far Eastern University Tamaraws Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.