UAAP Juniors Finals: DLSZ loses Game 1

Ravena carries Eaglets to Game One victory
By Alder T. Almo of

Manila – The defending champion Ateneo Blue Eaglets leaned on Kiefer Ravena to score a big 80-73 win against their bitter rivals De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers in Game One of the 72nd UAAP juniors basketball Finals on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Ravena almost single-handedly carried the Eaglets to victory, pouring in 15 of his game-high 33 points in the crucial payoff period.

Using a stifling defense, Ateneo dropped a 9-0 bomb midway the third canto to pull away from a 43-deadlock. The Junior Archers failed to recover and trailed for the rest of the way.

The Junior Archers cut down an 11-point deficit in a spirited chase in the fourth period but Ravena was there to answer.

The 15-year old son of former PBA Rookie of the Year Bong Ravena scored eight of Ateneo’s final 12 points to finish off the Junior Archers.

The Junior Archers came dangerously close on Nico Elorde’s basket, 73-76, under the final minute. But Ravena made two split free throws while Chuky Dumrique iced the scoring with a fastbreak layup with the time winding down.

“Kiefer (Ravena) could not have done it alone. This is not Kiefer’s team. This is the Ateneo team. His teammates set him up, looked for him to score,” Eaglets coach Jamike Jarin said.

Jarin has guaranteed that it will be Raphael Banal’s time to explode.

Banal, the son of former Blue Eagles’ coach Joel, scored only six points on poor 2-for-9 from the field.

“Better watch out for (Rapahel) Banal in Game two. I guarantee you,” Jarin said.

The game one, however, belonged to Ravena who scored from almost everywhere on the court. He outplayed his smaller but pesky defender Nico Elorde, the grandson of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.

Aside from scoring 33 points, Ravena also added nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and same number of blocks in an overpowering performance.

Elorde was seen visibly upset after the game.

“Good friend ko si Nico (Elorde). Pero pagdating sa game, iba na. Siya rin ang bantay ko two years ago (when DLSZ won the championship against us). So this is like a revenge win for us,” Ravena said.

Ravena hopes to complete their revenge on the Junior Archers on Tuesday also in the same venue.

The Scores:

ADMU 80 – Ravena 33, Bugarin 10, Sinco 8, Pessumal 8, Dumrique 6, Banal 6, Reyes 5, Pe 4, Unson 0, Tenorio 0, Romero 0, Erazo 0, Daez 0, Tim Capacio 0, Armena 0, Alonte 0.

DSLZ 73 – Elorde 18, Gwyne Capacio 15, Van Opstal 12, Fortuna 12, Dela Paz 12, Sevilla 2, Roxas 2, Park 0, Herrera 0.

Quarters: 23-19, 38-38, 56-49, 80-73.

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