UAAP: Thirdy takes Kiefer's message to heart

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2017 11:53 PM

UAAP: Thirdy takes Kiefer's message to heart 1
Thirdy Ravena registered 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in Ateneo's semifinals-clinching win over FEU on Wednesday. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – When Kiefer Ravena was asked what Ateneo de Manila University needed to do in order to beat Far Eastern University in their do-or-die game in the Final 4, he said bluntly: "Thirdy cannot play like that."

Kiefer was referring to his younger brother performance in the Blue Eagles' 80-67 loss last Sunday, wherein Thirdy scored 17 points and had six rebounds, but was unable to impact the game in his usual ways. He had no assists, committed three turnovers, and was a team-worst minus-15 for the contest.

"Kuya" Kiefer was at the Araneta Coliseum for that game, watching before he joined Gilas Pilipinas in practice. He was unable to watch the do-or-die game live on Wednesday, however, with the national team already in Japan ahead of its FIBA World Cup qualifier.

But Kiefer, a two-time UAAP MVP who won two titles with the Blue Eagles, still kept track of Ateneo's game against FEU, and was truly pleased with how his younger brother – and the team as a whole – performed this time around.

"They just had the sense of urgency that was lacking during the first game," Kiefer told ABS-CBN News. "Credit to FEU for preparing really well."

"Besides Thirdy's game, Matt (Nieto's) crucial baskets, and Isaac (Go's) miraculous shot, for me the MVP of the game was Gian Mamuyac," added Kiefer, referring to Ateneo's defensive specialist who helped limit FEU's perimeter players in crunch time.

Still, it was Thirdy that Kiefer remains most invested in, and it was Thirdy whom he sent an emphatic message before he left for Japan.

"Do whatever it takes," Thirdy said, when asked what his older brother said to him.

"And'yan ka para gawin kung ano ang kailangan ng team – whether to score, whether to rebound, whether it's to assist," he added. "So, kailangan ma-fulfill moa ng role na 'yun, kasi kailangan mong makatulong sa team."

"He reminded that before the game," Thirdy stressed.

Thirdy did not get the headlines in their win – that honor went to Isaac Go and Matt Nieto, who were the heroes in the fourth quarter and crunch time of what turned out to be an 88-84 victory for the Blue Eagles. But Thirdy made his mark, scoring 17 points on top of seven rebounds and four assists. He also limited FEU's Ron Dennison to only four points, after the veteran forward burned the Blue Eagles in their first meeting last Sunday.

His brother's message, after all, did not go unheeded.

Thirdy and the rest of the Blue Eagles are now headed back to the Finals, where they will try to do what they were unable to do so last season – take down their archrivals, the De La Salle Green Archers.

"We have to put 'yung natutunan namin sa last Finals into this Finals," said Thirdy. "We have to be more composed, because La Salle is not going to play us any softer."

"They’re gonna play us differently but they’re gonna play us really tough. So we have to be prepared for that, we have to be ready and yun nga, kailangan mas composed na kami coming into the Finals," he added.

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