Not even former Ateneo Blue Eagles teammates Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal could escape the tense nature of the San Miguel Beer-NLEX game at Cuneta Astrodome on Friday.
Pessumal received a flagrant foul penalty 1 after a two-forearm shove to Ravena's back sent the NLEX rookie playmaker sliding chest down on the floor early in the fourth quarter.
The second-year San Miguel forward, drafted a season earlier than Ravena, played down the incident afterward.
"I don't wanna say anything, I'm sorry. It's part of the game. Whatever, move on. Not a big deal," he said.
Prior to the cheap shot, Pessumal was leading a 3-on-2 transition play, but Ravena challenged Pessumal and denied him mid-air as he went up for the layup.
With Pessumal sprawled on the floor, Ravena, who didn't extend a hand to help him up, appeared to have said something that probably didn't mean anything from the viewer's point of view until Pessumal immediately stood up and gave Ravena a shove.
As Marcio Lassiter missed a 3-pointer, Ravena tried to box out Pessumal who ran over Ravena with a tackle.
Ravena said his staredown when Pessumal hit the deck might have triggered the incident.
"I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that. Probably nung tinignan ko siya. But you know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don't become too personal," Ravena said.
"I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang."
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