UAAP: Ravena’s clutch efforts lift Ateneo past NU in double OT
Kiefer Ravena made the big shots and Ateneo outlasted National University in double overtime, 74-70, in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ravena forced the first extra five minutes with a step back triple with 5.3 seconds to go in regulation and again extended the game to a second overtime with a contested drive with 5.7 ticks left before the Blue Eagles held on for their second win in three games.
“It was a grind and I don’t think we could’ve won that game without the heroics of Kiefer,” Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol.
The graduating star guard didn’t shoot the ball well but he made the shots that mattered.
Ravena missed his first nine shots from the long range but his lone triple tied the game at 57 and forced overtime. He finished with 21 points despite going 7-of-26 from the field.
Gelo Alolino tried to atone for his crucial blunders late in regulation but he missed deep off-balance 3-pointer as time ran out in the fourth period.
Alolino, who had 19 points for the Bulldogs, uncharacteristically committed three turnovers in the final 18.7 seconds of the final frame that paved the way for Ravena’s clutch triple.
The Bulldogs couldn’t overcome the absence of Alfred Aroga and Kyle Neypes in the two overtimes and reeled to a 0-3 start in their title retention bid.
Aroga and Neypes both fouled out late in the fourth quarter that left NU without having anyone who could contain Ateneo’s 6-foot-8 center Chibueze Ikeh.
Ikeh caused big problems for NU especially in the rebounding department. Ikeh finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds, 14 off which came at the offensive glass.
The Bulldogs as a team only had 13 offensive rebounds.
“Last game’s much-maligned player Ikeh really stepped up today and he proved he belongs to the team. He doesn’t really have to prove anything because he belongs to this team,” Perasol said.
“For a player who hasn’t really adapted in the UAAP, he really won it for us,” Ravena said of Ikeh, who sat beside him during the post-game interview session.UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball standings | Create infographics