KIEFER Ravena struggled at the most crucial time for Ateneo in its UAAP men’s basketball game against National University on Wednesday, leaving the Blue Eagles' Final Four fate as well as their shot at a sixth consecutive championship in grave danger.
Ravena finished with just three points on a cold 1-of-9 shooting from the field in the 65-70 loss to the Bulldogs that left the five-time champions out of the final picture with one game to go in their elimination schedule.
The celebrated third-year guard was hardly a factor in the endgame when the Blue Eagles tried to mount a final stand and, worse, gave up two fouls that ended up helping the Bulldogs' cause.
The Ateneo gunner said he lost his rhythm after committing two fouls early in the game. He later fouled out late in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were still very much in the contest.
“It’s just one of those days,” he said afterwards. “You can’t really play always ‘yung laro na ini-expect mo.
“I was focused on winning the game but probably, it didn’t work in our favor. Siguro gigil ako kaya I had too many fouls,” Ravena explained.
The son of former PBA player Bong Ravena also credited the defense of NU for making life miserable for him in this game.
“NU did a good job in the end. Hindi ko na masyadong pinilit ‘yung laro ko tapos nag-foul out pa ako,” said an obviously frustrated Ravena.
The Bulldogs clinched one of the two twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four following the victory, while relegating the Eagles to fifth place with a 7-6 (win-loss) record just behind fourth placer University of Santo Tomas at 7-5.
UST and Ateneo battle each other on Wednesday in their final game of the eliminations.
Ravena said he is still not giving up on the Eagles’ chances although he’s resigned to the fact that the team’s fate is not in their hands given the fact that the outcome of their match with the University of the East Warriors is still hanging in the balance ahead of the UAAP board meeting on Thursday.
“There is still a chance. Hindi pa naman sarado ang Final Four namin. Ang masama lang diyan is we don’t have it in our hands unlike if we won this game, hawak pa rin namin,” Ravena said.
"Ganun talaga. You have to deal with it right now."