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    Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena's heartfelt salute to graduating big man Chibueze Ikeh

    Dec 4, 2017

    THIRDY Ravena won the UAAP Season 80 Finals MVP award, but was gracious enough to share the honor with one of Ateneo's graduating players.

    Ravena captured the award after leading the Blue Eagles to their first men's championship in five years. He had 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals in the team's thrilling 88-86 win over deposed champion La Salle Green Archers.

    Yet upon receiving his Finals MVP trophy, Ravena called out Chibueze Ikeh. Sunday's Game Three was the Nigerian big man's final outing as a college player along with teammate Vince Tolentino and Kris Porter.

    Ikeh had 12 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in the title-clinching game.

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      Ravena paid a tribute to Ikeh, saying the big man's effort on the court may not be reflected in the stats sheets but had a big impact on Ateneo’s title run nonetheless.

      “There are things na hindi nakikita ng mga tao talaga because it’s intangible. You don’t see it in the stats. But I saw Ikeh the whole year doing his job,” he added.

      Even after winning the award, Ravena said it was a team effort on the part of the Blue Eagles to regain the title the school last won in 2012.

      “If if weren’t for Ikeh, Isaac’s shot, this won’t be possible. And now, we are here,” said Ravena.

      The Finals MVP came through with a crucial big play on one pivotal moment in the fourth quarter. He skied high for an offensive rebound before he dished out the pass to Matt Nieto, who buried a huge three to  break a 68-68 deadlock.

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      Ravena credited Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga for the play.

      “It was just an instruction ni coach Sandy nung nag-sub ako. He said we really need the rebounds. So I tried to just make sure na every chance I get, I try to go for that rebound.

      "If ‘yun ang kailangan, gagawin ko. He was right. Alam naman ni coach Sandy ginagawa niya. I just did my job. Matt did his job. It was a team effort,” said Ravena.

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