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    Ateneo rides Ravena coattails as Eagles nip Tigers

    Jul 27, 2013
    Ateneo guard Kiefer Ravena puts up a shot against UST's Ed Daquioag and Karim Abdul. Jerome Ascano

    KIEFER Ravena came up with big plays in the clutch and lifted defending champion Ateneo to a morale-boosting 61-57 victory over hard-fighting University of Santo Tomas Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as the Blue Eagles ended their first round campaign in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament on a winning note.

    Ravena scored on a driving lay-up entering the final two minutes of the game before the Ateneo star came up with a huge defensive play that averted any possible momentum swing on the side of the Tigers.

    The Ateneo guard, coming off a sprained right ankle that hampered his play early in the first round, finished the game with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals in an all-around effort.

    Ateneo recorded its third win in seven outings following a 0-3 start to its season.

    More importantly, the Eagles are now stalking teams that are tied in the middle of the standings following the grind-out victory against Tigers.

    The match was the first in the league between the two teams after the Eagles completed a two-game sweep of the Tigers last season to win their fifth straight title.

    Ateneo coach Bo Perasol likes Ateneo’s current position as the team – and the league – goes into a break for the country’s hosting of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.

    “It was tough thinking about going up against UST knowing that we need to get a win before we go into a long break,” said Perasol. “You could just imagine what our hearts and minds are going to be if we lost the game.”

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    “But I know deep inside that if we can just get our acts together, there is a possibility because Kiefer is already healthy and I know that we can always give anybody a tough fight,” said the Ateneo rookie mentor.

    UST remained in second place with a 4-3 win-loss slate but are now tied with University of the East.

    Adamson can still move to second place and join UST and UE with a victory over league leader Far Eastern University in Sunday’s first game.

    Also with a shot at joining second place is the winner of the La Salle-National University in the second game.

    After trailing by double digits, UST was on the verge of making a comeback following a five-point swing by Ed Daquioag, who soared for a two-handed slam dunk and completed a three-point play as the Tigers threatened at 49-46.

    Daquioag scored on another lay-up to make it 56-53.

    But Ravena scored off Daquioag when he drove to the basket for a five-point Ateneo cushion.

    Then, he blocked Daquioag’s three-point attempt with 38.4 seconds to play for the game’s biggest defensive play.

    The Tigers were able to trim the gap to just two on a triple by Tata Bautista, 59-57, after it was confirmed the shot was a three-pointer following a long video review.

    Chris Newsome split his two charities, but Kevin Ferrer missed two good looks from beyond the arc in UST’s next two possessions.

    The Eagles got off to a good start, taking a 19-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but only scored eight in the second that allowed the Tigers back into the game.

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    The scores

    Ateneo (61) -- Ravena 13, Newsome 10, Tiongson 9, Buenafe 9, Golla 8, Capacio 4, Pessumal 3, Tolentino 2, Erram 2, Elorde 1.

    UST (57) -- Mariano 16, Daquioag 12, Bautista 11, Ferrer 9, Abdul 6, Lo 3, So 0, Pe 0, Hainga 0.

    Quarterscores: 19-6; 27-21; 47-39; 61-57.

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    Ateneo guard Kiefer Ravena puts up a shot against UST's Ed Daquioag and Karim Abdul. Jerome Ascano
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