UAAP: Thirdy responds to FEU’s physicality with all-around performance
Danine Cruz on Nov 25, 2018 09:22 PM
"Parang 'di naman masyadong physical ‘yung laro. Kaunti lang."
Thirdy Ravena had the most fantastic first few minutes in the UAAP Season 81 semifinals tiff between the Ateneo de Manila University and the Far Eastern University.
With just a little more than two minutes into the game, he already slammed back-to-back baskets to bring the Blue Eagles to a rousing 8-0 start.
Those baskets set the tone for the rest of the match.
From there, Ateneo never let FEU inch any closer. The game was not even close for a moment.
The victory brought them straight to the Finals for the third straight year with six days left to rest and prepare for the championship series.
Despite the wire-to-wire game and the Blue Eagles leading by as much as 31 points in the third frame, Ravena expressed that it was still a very tough match.
"FEU didn’t make it easy for us, mukhang madali kasi ‘yung lamang ganun but every single possession they make it difficult for us, so that’s what’s hard about defending FEU," Ravena said after eliminating FEU with the 80-61 win.
Aside from Ravena's spectacular and jaw-dropping plays, Ravena was also in the middle of a lot of physicality in the tightly called game. He fouled out after committing three double fouls, one double unsportsmanlike foul, and one offensive foul.
"Parang 'di naman masyadong physical ‘yung laro. Kaunti lang," quipped Ravena sarcastically, "I mean basketball ganoon talaga. I know they’re competitors and I know that they’re going to do whatever it takes to get an advantage especially pag twice-to-beat na pipikunin ka, sasaktan ka, but at the end of the day, you just have to do what you have to do."
With 7:12 left in the third, Ravena was also at the receiving end of Alec Stockton's unsportsmanlike foul. Stockton threw a closed fist at him but Ravena just shook it off, converted two of the ensuing free throws, and after just 20 seconds, made a three-pointer.
"I can’t let that affect me kasi alam ko kapag isang teammate ko ginanoon, hindi niya hahayaan na iisipin niya sarili niya at that moment so I just had to do it for my teammates and for the team of course," said the Blue Eagle.
"Nasasayang lang ‘yung energy kumbaga ‘yung negative energy, walang mapupuntahan eh so I just stick to what I have to do kasi lahat kami, kailangan namin ‘yung isa-isa sa court," added Ravena after finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Ultimately, after four years of competing against FEU in the semifinals, Ravena expressed that it was their solid preparation that armed them to dispose of FEU right at the first game.
"They’re always hungrier than us coming into the first game kaya na-foforce nila ‘yung twice-to-beat so we just have to fix our mindset na mas gutom kami, mas prepared kami coming into the game kasi alam naman namin na ibibigay nila lahat nothing to lose sila and that’s scary about FEU na ibibigay lang nila," said Ravena.
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