Misfiring Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena lauds defense of Julian Sargent, Robert Bolick
Ateneo guard Kiefer Ravena went 8-for-23 against La Salle's Robert Bolick, right, and Julian Sargent. Jerome Ascano

KIEFER Ravena took the blame for Ateneo’s defeat on Sunday at the hands of rival De La Salle in their UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball game at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Ravena finished with 22 points, six rebounds, and six assists for the Blue Eagles to open the second round but his effort went for naught as the Blue Eagles fell, 88-86, after a close endgame battle.

The leading MVP candidate was left to rue his inability to step up in the final minutes, where he twice airballed long jumpers and missed the hoop completely on a drive in another possession.

In all, the Blue Eagles star only converted eight of his 23 shots.

“I take the blame for this game actually,” Ravena said. “They played good defense. We didn’t make our shots. Ganun talaga. They played excellently in the first half. You have to improve on that and not make it happen again.”

Ravena said he was already expecting a tougher defense on him from all teams in a season that saw him score a career-high 38 points against University of the East.

“First round, forgivable pa pero second round, nag-aadjust na sa lahat. Everything is going to be tighter and harder,” said Ravena.

Against La Salle, Julian Sargent and Robert Bolick took turns in defending Ravena all game. The Ateneo star said it is now a matter of him adjusting to how he is being defended.

“Sargent is pretty strong and quick. It is all on me to find a way to make it work. (Robert) played good D also. It’s not an excuse for me that they played good D. I have to make it work not only for me but for my teammates,” said Ravena.

Ravena, nevertheless, paid tribute to his teammates who carried the fight when he misfired in the end.

“Gwayne (Capacio) stepped up. New (Newsome) got into foul trouble but got his rhythm late in the game. We will just have to adjust and find ways to work with the defense that is thrown at me,” said Ravena.

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