Physical play fueled Thirdy vs FEU, says Ateneo coach Arespacochaga
Thirdy Ravena didn’t just put up gaudy numbers in Ateneo’s 80-61 win over Ateneo in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball Final Four, he was also in the middle of rough and curricular activities that happened in the game itself.
The star forward fouled out with 3:33 left in the game, a contest that was in the Blue Eagles’ bag as early as the third quarter when they led 59-28, after he barged into FEU guard Axel Iñigo and got called for a charge.
And that was the most tame of infractions Ravena received as he got called for three double fouls and one double unsportsmanlike foul when he got tangled up with Barkley Eboña.
But the most heated one was when Ravena narrowly dodged a punch that Alec Stockton threw at him at the 7:12 mark of the fourth quarter. fueled
Despite the physical play, Ravena still finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and four assists and that was what the Ateneo bench expected of him.
“We want to see them exhibit calmness when they get hit,” said Ateneo head coach Sandy Arespacochaga Sunday at Smart Araeneta Coliseum. “We want them to elevate their game more instead of hitting back physically.”
Ravena did got into his fair share of physicality since four of his fouls weren’t one-sided bumps and his last one did level Iñigo who stands at 5-foot-6 and is shorter by eight inches.
Still it was his basketball play that ultimately became the defining highlights especially when he dodged Stockton’s punch.
Ravena gave the Blue Eagles a 48-24 lead after Stockton’s misdemeanor and that was pretty much the storyline of the whole game—Ateneo picking its spots against a flustered FEU.
“I told Thirdy that he doesn’t need to be emotional and he’s supposed to be in his own skin,” said Ateneo center Angelo Kouame.
“I think the physical play motivated him some more and that’s the right kind of approach,” said Arespacochaga. “You should elevate your game and not be distracted by physical hits.”