KIEFER Ravena says Ateneo has a tendency to relax in the second half, a habit that they hope to break and can’t afford to make on Wednesday when the streaking Blue Eagles face rejuvenated Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ravena’s Blue Eagles are on a four-game winning streak and have finally broken the .500 win barrier at 5-4. They are now tied for fourth with University of the East as the battle for slots in the Final Four heats up.
The Blue Eagles are fresh from a 79-66 victory over Adamson last Sunday, one of two assignments before taking on their archrival De La Salle on September 1.
But Ravena said that if they want to continue the rise, they have to play consistently the whole game and avoid losing control in the endgame. On Sunday, the Eagles erected a 27-point lead but eased up on the gas and allowed the Falcons to stage a comeback.
“We have to take away that habit of relaxing,” Ravena said. “’Yun ang story of the first round. We lead in the first half but we lose it in the second.”
“We have a chance (to break it) against FEU, the No. 1 team,” Ravena added.
For his part, Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said that their main focus is on defense.
“We don’t really focus on individuals but how we can improve as a team on defense on a regular basis. Like FEU, the kind of defense against them should also be the same against other teams,” Perasol said, whose team is out to avenge a 75-79 overtime loss to the Tamaraws in the first round.
The Tamaraws are coming off a classic 98-94 double overtime victory over University of the East, recovering from a seven-point deficit in the first extra period.
The Morayta-based squad broke a two-game losing skid to remain on top with an 8-2 win-loss slate.
“That’s something that we are learning, playing through adversity,” FEU coach Nash Racela said.