Thirdy Ravena comes up clutch as Ateneo extends FEU Tamaraws' misery
Ateneo guard Thirdy Ravena's back-to-back baskets knocked the wind off the rallying Tamaraws' sails in the endgame. Jaime Campos

THIRDY Ravena came up big in the clutch as Ateneo repulsed Far Eastern University, 74-59, in the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.

After the Tamaraws trimmed a double-digit deficit to seven points on Raymar Jose's undergoal stab, Ravena scored back-to-back baskets to push the lead back to 11, 67-56.

Isaac Go then made a dagger off a Ravena assist as the Blue Eagles gained a share of second spot with the reeling Tamaraws on 8-4 win-loss records.

Ravena finished with a double-double output of 15 points and 11 rebounds for Ateneo, which is now locked in a tight battle with FEU for the second and last twice-to-beat spot in the Final Four.

Go had 14 points, while Adrian Wong added 12 for the Blue Eagles. 

"I guess we just came out to fight. 'Yun lang yung nasa utak namin, (kasi) we are the underdogs in this match," said Ravena, whose team was riding the crest of a stunning win over powerhouse La Salle in their previous game. 

"Sinuwerte lang gumana yung pick-and-roll namin. It was a team effort in the fourth quarter."

Ateneo blew a 23-point buffer in the third period but recovered in the nick of time thanks in large part to Ravena and Go's efforts in the homestretch. 

Monbert Arong paced the Tamaraws with 15 points. Prince Orizu and Jose addd 11 and 10, respectively, but couldn't save FEU from falling to its second successive loss.

The scores:

Ateneo 74 – Ravena 15, Go 14, Wong 12, Nieto Mi 8, Black 7, Tolentino 4, Porter 4, Asistio 3, Nieto Ma 3, Ikeh 2, Mendoza 2, Verano 0, Ildefonso 0

FEU 59 – Arong 15, Orizu 11, Jose 10, Tuffin 10, Escoto 6, Dennison 3, Comboy 3, Roxas 1, Trinidad 0, Inigo 0, Bayquin 0, Holmqvist 0, Denila 0, Nunag 0

Quarterscores: 24-14, 46-28, 58-46, 74-59


Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros