KIEFER Ravena is all pumped up but vowed to keep his emotions in check as he prepares for what could be the last Ateneo-La Salle game of his checkered UAAP collegiate career.
Unless the two schools meet again in the Final Four, Sunday's 4 p.m. match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum will likely be the last in the celebrated rivalry for the reigning league MVP, who is set to turn pro next year.
The King Eagle said he will definitely miss the spectacle.
“I’ll be ready. I’ll prepare for it,” Ravena told Spin.ph. “It’s something that I’m going to miss in the UAAP.”
But Ravena said he will try to treat the marquee face-off as just another match, saying he can't let himself be carried away by the emotions of the biggest rivalry in college basketball.
“As coach Bo (Perasol) would remind us, it’s just a basketball game. You can’t play with the crowd. You can’t be overeager and overexcited. Kailangang i-enjoy mo,” said Ravena.
Ravena will also look to atone for his performance in the first meeting between the two rivals, when he finished with 19 points but went 7-of-24 from the field and missed crucial shots late in a 76-80 loss.
Still, the six-foot guard said he will try to play as relaxed as possible.
“I’ll just enjoy it. It’s probably my last Ateneo-La Salle game. Whatever happens, ibibigay ko lahat,” Ravena said.
The Blue Eagles are on a four-game winning streak and, at 8-4 (win-loss) are still in the hunt for one of wo twice-to-beat spots in the Final Four.
Getting a win over the Archers, however, won’t be easy since La Salle is in fourth spot with a 5-6 win-loss slate and desperate to reach the playoffs.
“La Salle is La Salle. When they play Ateneo, all stats and all standings aside, it’s going to be a grind-it-out ball game. It’s going to be a war. Everybody is going to come out and watch their school play. We will give our best,” said Ravena.