UNIVERSITY of the East supporters learned the hard way on Wednesday that it doesn't pay to bash Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena when the game is on the line.
Ravena got back at the Red Warriors gallery by pumping in 16 points including the game-sealing three-pointer in the final 14.2 seconds of the Blue Eagles’ 78-73 win in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Chants of 'One Big Flop' - a play on Ateneo's famous cheer - from the UE gallery rained down on Ravena for almost the entire game as fans of the opposing team played up accusations that the Ateneo guard is a 'flopper.'
But Ravena admitted the jeers only served to motivate him.
“Siyempre as any player will do, you want to bounce back. Siguro nakaka-motivate din kasi ‘yung kanina, nag-che-cheer ‘yung crowd ng ‘One Big Flop.’ Pero naririnig ko rin ‘yung cheers ng mga Atenista. Nakaka-motivate ‘yung ganun,” said Ravena, who finished the first half with just four points.
Another source of motivation for the eldest of two playing sons of former PBA cager Bong Ravena is the need to bounce back from the Eagles’ 88-86 loss at the hands of archrival La Salle over the weekend.
“It really motivated me to play even more, with the consent of coach Bo (Perasol) telling me constant reminders, hindi lang off-the-court but during the game. Isang tingin pa lang, alam ko na kung ano ‘yung gusto niya. I just wanted to bounce back,” he said.
Ravena was not only the key contributor in the game for Ateneo as Chris Newsome scored a season-high 23 points.
“What can I say, ang ginawa lang ng mga teammates ni Kiefer, nag-bake sila, tapos si Kiefer naglagay ng icing,” said Perasol. “I was signaling to Kiefer na nararamdaman niya na nag-co-coast na siya kaya I told him ‘Kief, you have to up the ante for us to win this game.' Siya ang nag-deliver in the end.”
Ravena said he made a conscious effort to involve his teammates early in the game.
“I had a goal before the start of the game kasi I knew what UE is going to throw at me. Nung umpisa, I was involving my teammates, Chris had a great game eventually. Babantayan na nila ‘yung mga teammates ko, ‘yun ang magpapalibre sa akin. Walang naka-help side sa akin kasi takot sila kay New (Newsome) at Von (Pessumal),” he said.