THIRDY Ravena was definitely the last guy on the Ateneo squad who needed any more motivation for Wednesday's all-important match against Adamson.
Ravena, one of the few veterans in the young Ateneo team, took over for the Blue Eagles on Wednesday, finishing with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists in a 73-67 victory that enabled Ateneo to secure the No. 2 seed in the UAAP Final Four.
The Final Four appearance is a perfect comeback for Ravena, who was not around when the Blue Eagles reached the Final Four last year after failing to hold on to his spot in the lineup due to academic deficiencies.
This time around, he was just happy to make a major contribution in Ateneo's title drive.
“Nag-double time ako this year. Motivation din sa akin na ibigay ko ang lahat kasi hindi ko nabigay ang lahat last year,” said the younger brother of former Ateneo King Eagle Kiefer Ravena.
Ravena said it took a total team effort for a Blue Eagles’ side composed mostly of rookies, sophomores, and juniors to come back from a nine-point deficit against Adamson and close out the elimination round with a 10-4 win-loss slate.
“Gusto namin i-prove na kahit bata kami, kaya namin manalo. I know we are young but we have to dig deep,” said Ravena.
Motivation was also not lacking from the other guys as Ravena got the support from his teammates Mike Nieto, Adrian Wong, and Isaac Go, especially in the endgame.
In fact, Ravena said his tip-in at the two-minute mark of the game that put the Eagles ahead, 68-59, was all about team play.
“If it wasn’t for my teammates, with their box outs, nakatalon ako at nakakuha ng rebound,” said Ravena.
Ravena also paid tribute to the efforts of head coach Tab Baldwin and his staff.
“Hats off to the coaches for their hardwork, kahit off the court during preparation, the time they spent for the things we needed to learn. If not for their preparation at ‘yung suporta na rin ng Ateneo community, hindi kami mafu-fuel every single game,” said Ravena.