KIEFER RAVENA preferred not to blame his early injury woes as one of the reasons for Ateneo’s downfall this UAAP season that saw the Blue Eagles miss the Final Four and end their bid for a sixth straight men’s basketball championship.
Ravena expressed disappointment at missing the semifinals for the first time in his college career shortly after the Eagles were eliminated by last year’s Finals foe University of Santo Tomas, 74-82, Wednesday.
The Blue Eagles finished the season with an even 7-7 (win-loss) record to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1998. They actually started Season 76 at 0-3 as Ravena missed a few games due to a severe ankle sprain.
But the former Rookie of the Year declined not to put in hindsight his health condition early into the season.
“Hindi ko rin masabi ‘yung end result. Hindi ko na mababalik ‘yun. I wouldn’t want to take it na hindi binigay ng best nung mga teammates ko nung injured ako,” said Ravena.
But the star shooting guard to comeback healthier for next season.
“I have to be healthy and be back 100 percent. Kinapos talaga. I just have to rest first. Ang pinaka-importante, pahinga,” Ravena said.
“We would have wanted to play more pero ganun talaga. Everything happens for a reason,” said the son of former PBA player Bong Ravena.
Despite the disappointing finish, Ravena wants to stick with the positives like Ateneo being just a win away from a Final Four berth, and the contributions of graduating players like Juami Tiongson and Ryan Buenafe during their momentous five straight championships.
“We were halfway of making it to the Final Four. Focus na lang uli kami next year,” he said.
“Very big losses with Ryan, Poy (Erram), Juami, Frank (Golla), very disheartening. It’s hard to think about ganito sila maalala, pero hindi puwedeng makalimutan ‘yung four championships na binigay nila sa Ateneo. Basketball is beyond this loss. Their college career in Ateneo is beyond this loss,” Ravena stressed.