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    Kiefer Ravena picks this title as the best in latest Ateneo three-peat

    Aug 5, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    THIRDY Ravena still finds difficulty in picking the best among the past three Ateneo teams which won the UAAP title.

    But his brother Kiefer sure ain't.

    To the elder Ravena, he believes that the Blue Eagles of UAAP Season 80 are the best for the sheer opposition they had to topple to be named as kings in 2017.

    "My opinion, the team that beat the Ben Mbala-led La Salle was the strongest," he said in The Prospects Pod.

    Ateneo was looking to avenge itself after falling to La Salle the previous season and truly showed that it was out for blood, with the Tab Baldwin-mentored side going 13-0 in the eliminations.

    Thirdy formed the core of that squad, together with twins Matt and Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, and Adrian Wong, with Nigerian center Chibueze Ikeh manning the paint.

    With the Blue Eagles on the verge of a sweep, the Green Archers denied them that with a 79-76 victory to end the eliminations.

    Despite Ateneo sporting a 13-1 record and the top-seed in the Final Four, not everyone was bought on its hype.

    And those were further complicated by the tough road the Blue Eagles took, losing Game One of the semifinals to Far Eastern University, 80-67, before making sure not to squander their twice-to-beat advantage with an 88-84 overtime win over the Tamaraws in Game Two.

    "That was the biggest test of that year eh. The previous year, they lost to almost the same team and now they’re facing them again," said Kiefer.

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    It was different this time out as Thirdy went bonkers in the Finals and carried Ateneo to the peak of the UAAP mountain after three hard-fought games against La Salle to capture the first of his three Finals MVPs.

    "They did what people said was an impossible task, which is beat the Mbala-led DLSU. So for me it was that team," Kiefer said.

    It started the Blue Eagles' dominance for the past three seasons, with Ravena leading the charge for the boys from Katipunan.

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      Still, Thirdy argued that one couldn't just discount the perfect season Ateneo had this past UAAP Season 82.

      "Ang hirap din i-describe yung 16-0 just for the fact na wala pa ngang school na nakagawa nun," said the Japan-bound Thirdy. "So mahirap din sabihin."
      ___

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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