Ateneo's Kiefer Ravena gestures after scoring the final shot against UST. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol and star guard Kiefer Ravena were full of praise for assistant coach Ronnie Magsanoc after he drew up a play that led to Ravena's game-winning shot against University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Wednesday.
After Ateneo's 63-61 victory, Perasol immediately gave credit to Magsanoc. "That last play was designed by Coach Ronnie Magsanoc, and it was followed to a tee," said Perasol.
Ravena, who drained the game-winning jumper with 3.7 seconds left, added that it was a "perfect play" designed by Magsanoc.
"Thanks to Coach Ronnie, 'yung mga ganoong play pina-practice talaga namin," Ravena said. "Nagshu-shooting talaga kami ng gma ganoong play, to prepare myself physically as well as for the mental aspect."
But Magsanoc – a former NCAA champion coach with the San Beda Red Lions – was quick to deflect praise and instead lauded Ravena for making the shot.
"It (the play) was just to free up Kiefer," Magsanoc told reporters. "Eventually, it was a good play because Kiefer made it work."
Told that Perasol had given him the credit for drawing up the final play, Magsanoc said: "Katulad nga ng sabi ni Coach Bo, ang basketball is a team game, so ganoon na rin ang coaching ngayon, pati sa collegiate."
Magsanoc said they were anticipating that Ateneo will get the ball back if UST swingman Kevin Ferrer will make a free throw after being sent to the line following a Chris Newsome foul.
"It was the decision of Coach Bo, a split-second decision. Sabi lang niya, 'Ready ka pagbalik.' Noong nagfi-free throw si Kevin, baka kailanganin natin ng quick play," he related. "Nag-usap naman kami kung ano ang gusto niya."
Magsanoc also revealed that Ateneo's back-up play, at that moment, was simply to put the ball in Ravena's hands.
"The back-up play is, Kiefer makes the right decision. That's all. Get the ball, always, in the hands of your best player, and you hope that he makes the right decision – either hit the shot or make the correct basketball play," he said.
"(The play) worked because of Kiefer," Magsanoc also said. "It was a good shot, a big shot."