KIEFER Ravena looked like a man on a mission on Sunday in leading Ateneo to a 79-57 win over Adamson in the two teams' UAAP men’s basketball tournament debut at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Ravena scored 22 points in the dominating win for the Blue Eagles, who lifted the 'mystery' surrounding their new-look team by unleashing an active game featuring a lot of running and an aggressive full-court press.
Ravena also provided the highlight of the game, soaring for an emphatic dunk over an Adamson defender in the second quarter in the middle of a hot start that saw the Eagles open a 32-15 lead.
“All of us wanted to be better than what we were last season,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol, who missed out on a Final Four spot in his first season as Blue Eagles coach.
In an offseason where much of the spotlight fell on the blue-chip rookies Ateneo had recruited, the veterans led by Ravena were still the main story in the impressive debut.
The Blue Eagles opened with a 10-1 run featuring Ravena, Chris Newsome, and Nico Elorde before ending the first period with a nine-point swing for a 24-11 lead.
Ateneo continued to pounce on the rebuilding Adamson side with a 23-9 advantage in the second quarter for a commanding lead.
Newsome and rookie Arvin Tolentino finshed with 12 points for the Blue Eagles.
The Falcons played like a team on rebuilding mode, going 6-of-23 from the field in the first half. They did show a lot of aggressiveness in the second half, although Ateneo's lead by then was too big to overcome.
Ateneo (79) – K. Ravena 22, Newsome 12, A. Tolentino 12, Pessumal 8, Elorde 6, Javelosa 4, Apacible 4, Asistio 3, Capacio 2, Gotladera 2, Babilonia 2, Doliguez 2, M. Tolentino 0, T. Ravena 0, Lim 0, Porter 0,
Adamson (57) – Villanueva 15, Rios 15, Trollano 7, Ochea 7, Inigo 4, Gumtang 4, Baytan 2, Aquino 2, Polican 0, Monteclaro 0, Barrera 0, Garcia 0.
Quarters: 24-11, 47-20, 62-35, 79-57.