KIEFER Ravena said the emotional roller-coaster the Ateneo Blue Eagles had gone through over the week had made the win over rival De La Salle on Sunday something to remember.
“Very special,” Ravena said after the 73-62 win over the Green Archers in what could well be his final Ateneo-La Salle game. “Kasi ang daming pinagdaanan this past week.”
The win comes at the end of a chaotic week that saw Ateneo slotman Chibueze Ikeh arrested after a game at the Araneta Coliseum on charges of violating the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act.
Ravena admitted it was the worst time for such a controversy to hit the team, coming just days before a match against La Salle, but acknowledged the incident brought the team closer together.
“Nagkaroon kami ng opportunity to be closer as a team. We took everything positively," he said. "Going into this game, La Salle won’t be giving this game. Nakita niyo naman nung first half, it looked like they wanted it more.”
Ateneo coach Bo Perasol is also relieved that the week ended as it did - with the Blue Eagles riding a five-game win streak and just a game behind second-running University of Santo Tomas.
“I think this is a good way to cap our tumultuous week,” said Perasol. “In fact, for me, emotionally parang naging anti-climactic (‘yung week) because of what happened. Emotionally, we were spent. But the good thing is, nag-settle down.
“You know very well na napakalaki ng Ateneo-La Salle, kahit na isang panalo lang ‘to,” Perasol said.
Moving forward, Perasol said he likes the position the Blue Eagles are in as they aim for a Top Two place - and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it.
“What is more important right now is we have given ourselves a chance (at a twice-to-beat berth). It is still in our hands. Napakagandang posisyon ang meron kami ngayon,” Perasol said.