IT was a sight unimaginable for true-blue Ateneo fans.
But on Friday night, former teammates Von Pessumal and Kiefer Ravena got on each other's nerves during the tense game between NLEX and San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome.
Pessumal and Ravena jostled not just once but twice, including one incident where the SMB sophomore was whistled for a flagrant foul 1 early in the fourth quarter for a hard bump on the NLEX rookie.
For the 24-year-old Pessumal, the episode was nothing but a case of two competitive players going hard at each other.
“It’s part of the game. I don’t see any reason why it’s a big deal,” said Pessumal, who won five UAAP titles with Ravena – two with the Blue Eagles and three as part of Ateneo's juniors squad.
He also refused to delve on what the two were saying at each other following the F1 whistled against him.
“I wouldn’t say anything about it,” was Pessumal’s curt reply.
Despite the physicality that marred the game won by the Beermen, 109-98, to retain the solo lead, Pessumal played good enough as part of the team’s support unit to its star-studded starting five.
He finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field in just 12 minutes of play.
“I’ve been doing this my whole life. I’m ready to play all the time,” he said about the limited playing time coming off the bench. “I’m not doing anything different. I’m just ready to play.”
Ravena meanwhile, paced NLEX with 15 points, three rebounds, six assists, and a block shot against Pessumal himself.
That defensive scheme actually appeared to have sparked the animosity between the two as Ravena stared at a fallen Pessumal after blocking one of his shots.
Pessumal responded by bumping Ravena in the next ball possession, which the NLEX guard quickly shook off, prompting the San Miguel stalwart to ram him hard the next time.
Pessumal admitted not approaching Ravena after the game nor did the former high school and college teammates shake hands.
And don’t expect any personal calls being made either, at least on Pessumal’s part.
“I don’t usually do that anyway. I’m a professional basketball player. I’m not here to make friends. This is my job,” he stressed.