KIEFER Ravena again showed brilliance under tremendous pressure, hitting clutch baskets in the Blue Eagles’ back-to-back victories in the week that was to put Ateneo on top of the standings and earn his second UAAP Player of the Week citation of the season.
The fourth-year guard averaged 27.5 points, 7 rebounds and 6.5 assists in games against University of Sto. Tomas Tigers and University of the East Red Warriors, helping Ateneo improve its win-loss record to 6-1 and finish the first round on top of the standings.
Ravena came up big on Sunday, draining seven of the Blue Eagles’ last nine points in the first overtime game of the 77th men’s basketball season to complete his team’s come-from-behind 93-91 win against the Red Warriors after falling in a 21-point hole early in the regulation.
He finished with a career-high 38 points plus nine assists and five rebounds and was named UAAP Press Corps-Accel Quantum Plus/316 Player of the Week by scribes covering the beat.
Ateneo coach Bo Perasol was all praises for his prized guard, who started out flat with just 2-of-9 field goal shooting before halftime, but came out with the game-tying pull up jumper with 23.4 ticks left in the fourth period to force the extension.
“He’s always to be the one to lead them. It doesn’t matter whether he’s going to score or not,” said Perasol of his ward, who made 19 of 25 shots from the foul line, the most since former King Eagle Chris Tiu’s 17-of-19 six years ago.
“It’s just the epitome of showing that ‘can-do’ attitude regardless of the situation. Obviously, he was able to deliver us in the end again.”
Five days before his career-game, Ravena drained the game-winning floater with 3.7 seconds to go from 15 feet over the outstretched arm of UST’s Cameroonian center Karim Abdul in a 63-61 escape. He had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“Siguro it's just nakakatanggal lang ng kaba kung yung coaches and yung mga teammates mo sila na ang unang nagtitiwala sa iyo. At least nai-ease off yung pressure, nai-ease off yung kaba,” he said.
“So once na tinawag talaga nina coach Ronnie (Magsanoc) and coach Bo yung play sa akin and then my teammates, sinasabi sa akin na ‘kayang-kaya mo na yan nagawa mo na yan before’, siyempre nakakakompiyansa talaga yun.”
“Yung confidence ko kinukuha ko lang rin talaga kung maganda ang ipinapakita ng mga teammates ko,” he added.
Ravena eclipsed Mikee Reyes and Rey Gallarza of the University of the Philippines and La Salle’s Jeron Teng for the weekly plum supported by Bactigel hand sanitizer, Doctor J Mighty Alcohol and Mighty Mom Anti-bacteria.