US basketball

Kiefer Ravena is clutch once again in Ateneo’s win over UE

Naveen Ganglani
Kiefer Ravena is clutch once again in Ateneo’s win over UE
Kiefer Ravena hits another clutch shot as he propels Ateneo back to the top of the standings with a win over UE

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol said it best: “Si Kiefer nag lagay nang icing.”

(Kiefer put the icing on top.) 

Once again, Kiefer Ravena did what he does best: putting the finishing touches on games. On Wednesday, August 20, at the Mall of Asia Arena, that was enough to lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles past the UE Red Warriors, 78-73, as ADMU improves to 7-2. 

Ravena finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists, but did most of his damage in the final quarter where he totaled 9 markers and hit the biggest shot oft the night. Chris Newsome also had a productive game, finishing with 23 points and 6 boards while going 13-of-21 from the free throw line. 

Von Pessumal, Nico Elorde, and Fonso Gotladera combined for 35 points, as all Ateneo starters scored in double figures. 

Charles Mammie spearheaded UE, putting up 15 points to go with 18 boards. Roi Sumang had 10 markers, but shot just 3-of-10 from the field. 

With a little under five minutes left in the game and Ateneo ahead by six, 68-62, Sumang came alive and converted five straight points in a short matter of time. Pessumal tried to respond right away, but misfired on his corner triple. 

In the succeeding plays, UE went inside to Mammie, while Ateneo leaned on Newsome, 70-69, in favor of the Blue Eagles.  

After the USA native pushed his team’s less to two later on, the Red Warriors managed to tie the contest thanks to Mark Olayon, who converted a layup on the break, 71-all, with 1:43 remaining. 

After Ravena made two charities to put his team ahead by as many points, Emil Palma split his trip to the free throw line, 73-72, as 33.4 seconds remained on the clock.

The Blue Eagles then turned to their closer, Ravena, who dribbled down the clock and hit a long-range bomb, extending his club’ edge to four.  

“No matter what happens, he will take it,” Perasol said about Ravena’s closer mentality later on. “Because he takes it upon himself.”

The Red Warriors had a chance to cut the lead to two, though Mammie split his charities. Pessumal then managed to ice the game at the FT line, giving ADMU their seventh win in Season 77.

“As any player would do coming off a loss, you want to bounce back,” Ravena said post game, talking about how his club wanted to come up with a win after losing to DLSU on Sunday, August 17.

The Blue Eagles will now have to prepare for the NU Bulldogs – the only team to beat them in the first round – as the two teams go head to head on Sunday, August 24.

“They have the momentum, but we also have to rest and recover for another grind it out game on Sunday,” the Ateneo closer added.

Ateneo’s bench totaled just 4 points the entire contest, while rookie Arvin Tolentino had his first scoreless game in his college career. The Blue Eagles were also outrebounded by the Red Warriors, 45-38, but forced 25 UE turnovers. 

“We’re trying to address that as the tournament progresses,” Perasol stated about the lack of production from his bench. “Eventually, they need some maturity, but in the end, they’re going to get that in the game.”

UE, who finished in the losing side despite getting 50 points from their bench, falls to 4-5. – Rappler.com

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