A bad habit that must be broken.
Kiefer Ravena said Ateneo should do away with its practice of always getting comfortable at every start of the game and then try to comeback and win everything down the stretch.
Ravena made the call as the top-seeded Blue Eagles suddenly found themselves extended to a winner-take-all match the no. 4 seed National University Bulldogs in the UAAP Final Four.
The Eagles' claws were no match to the Bulldogs' molars who leaned on a dominating start before turning back a spirited Ateneo rally for a 78-74 win on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Siguro kasi the development of bad habit of tatambakan tapos mananalo,” said Ravena.
"Siguro it's a bad habit parang we get comfortable even though we're down, (there's a) ok-lang-'yan-hahabol-tayo-sa-dulo type of mentality.”
The setback extended the Eagles’ losing streak against the Bulldogs for five straight games dating back to last season.
And for the losing skein to be finally broke, Ravena believes Ateneo should stop being complacent and be mentally prepared come the do-or-die encounter set on Wednesday.
As the team’s acknowledged leader, the reigning league MVP -- held to a miserable 9-of-35 shooting by the Bulldogs – said the change in attitude should start with him.
“Starts with me, even though I shoot bad it has to start with me, the energy, defense, everything,” he said. “I have to focus in and start in the first quarter not in the fourth.”
Although he said that it was not "Kiefer Stopper" Pao Javelona who made life miserable for him the last time, the fourth year guard still could not figure out what went wrong.
“Hindi ko alam eh, siguro I have to get it out of my back na NU na naman kalaban, struggle ako. Hindi pwedeng ganoon ang mentality ko,” he said.
"Misconcepcion ng iba na NU kasi iniisip ko NU kalaban, sometimes hindi mo lang talaga masu-shoot 'yung mga tira na normal mong nasu-shoot."
Ravena, however, remained positive despite the loss.
"Pero we just have to move on. This is what we've worked for the rest of the season - ang mag number one kami. Benefit of the doubt, even though we lost we have one more chance to get a crack at the Finals.”