“Sinabi ko lang sa sarili ko na ayaw kong mag-patalo (I just told myself that I won’t allow us to lose),” — Ateneo guard Keifer Ravena after leading the Eagles’ 4th quarter comeback over the Green Archers.
The De La Salle Green Archers squandered a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and helplessly watched the ball slip and bounce out of bounds off rookie star player Jeron Teng’s fingertips in the dying seconds of the game as the Ateneo Blue Eagles escaped with a 66-63 win over their longtime rivals behind the heroics of sophomore stud point guard Keifer Ravena.
Ravena made all the big plays on both ends of the court when it mattered most, leading the Eagles with a career-high 28 points, to go with 12 boards, and 7 dimes.
“In that fourth quarter, we just put the ball in Kiefer’s hands. That’s what it came down to,” Ateneo head coach Norman Black said in the post-game interview as quoted by ABS-CBN News. “He just took over the game, and that’s what great players do. They take over when the game is on the line,” the celebrated coach added.
Ravena started the Ateneo rally with about 8 minutes left in the game by knocking down a three-pointer that led to a 15-2 run, reversing a 53-44 deficit and turning it into a 59-55 lead. La Salle manage to regain the lead in the final minute of the game off Almond Vosotros’ 3-point basket that gave the Green Archers a 61-60 advantage. In the next possesion, however, Ravena penetrated and drew the defense, then spotted an open Ryan Buenafe in the corner, who knocked down the set 3-point shot to give Ateneo back the lead.
A couple of questionable calls, and a non-call by the referees evoked controversy in the dying seconds of the game when Ravena was whistled for a flagrant foul over Teng. Teng made 1 of 2 free throws to cut the deficit down to 1, but in the ensuing play lost the ball out of bounds, but appeared to have been hacked in the play. Buenafe hit a free throw before the end of the game for Ateneo, as La Salle’s desperation 3 from half court went nowhere together with their hopes of scoring an upset win to force a knockout game.
“I didn’t want to lose for my seniors and for the Ateneo community who came to watch us play,” Ravena said after the game. “Sinabi ko lang sa sarili ko na ayaw kong mag-patalo (I just told myself that I won’t allow us to lose),” he added.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Ateneo will face UST on Saturday in a best-of-three finals match-up for the 75th UAAP men’s basketball crown.
Box Scores (From ABS-CBN News):
ADMU 66 – Ravena 28, Salva 12, Buenafe 10, Tiongson 5, Slaughter 4, Chua 4, Sumalinog 3, Pessumal 0, Golla 0, Elorde 0
DLSU 63 – Andrada 17, Vosotros 14, Teng 12, N. Torres 6, T. Torres 5, Tampus 4, Van Opstal 3, Mendoza 2, Webb 0, Revilla 0
Quarter scoring: 14-12, 31-26, 38-47, 66-63
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