Whenever someone puts up a huge game despite feeling under the weather, we call it his “Flu Game”, in reference to one of Michael Jordan’s most unforgettable performances. I was only seven years old at that time when His Airness showed the whole universe that he is indeed the GOAT. During the 1997 NBA Finals where the series was tied at 2-2, he tallied 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a block while struggling to the bench and chugging fluids to replenish his weakened body at every timeout. That is what you call greatness.
Yesterday, Kiefer Ravena was not ill, but it was his ankles that were not in top condition. He pulled off a trick somewhat similar to the “Flu Game” with his “Ankle Game”. Shrugging off an ankle injury he sustained last Wednesday against UST, the reigning MVP delivered one of the best scoring performances in recent memory as he torched NU‘s defense, specifically Pao Javelona in the first quarter, and scored the first 21 points of his team by draining 6-out of-7 from downtown that set the tone for their win. He wound up with a season-high 32 points.
From an individual standpoint, Ravena’s scoring act was just unbelievable. The Twitter universe exploded. Superlatives were all used to describe that jaw-dropping moment. I even imagined Stephen Curry under layer on Ravena’s body with his tremendous shooting in the first quarter.
Riding high on Ravena’s first quarter exploits, Ateneo shot very well from the rainbow territory. The Ravena-Pessumal tandem swooshed an impressive 10-out-of 17 (59%) from the distance. Overall, the entire team connected 11/21 (55%). Considering it was against the sturdy defense of NU, that was definitely impressive.
With all being said about Ravena’s explosion, Pessumal also rose to the occasion. The hot-shooting forward contributed 24 points at a very efficient rate.
|vs. NU, Round 2||3PT FG%||2PT FG%|
|Von Pessumal||67% (4/6)||60% (6/10)|
The VonFire also proved that he can put the ball on the floor when necessary. With his three-point marksmanship cooperating in this contest, it was nice to see the other facets of his game as he attacked the basket in a number of instances.
With this loss, the Bulldogs are now in danger of missing the Final Four for the first time since Season 75. Reliable veterans Gelo Alolino and Alfred Aroga once again led the team to claw their way back after being down by as much as 15. However their effort was not enough to survive against the Blue Eagles. They are now a game and half behind DLSU for the last Final Four slot. Meanwhile, the Katipunan based squad solidified their hold of the third place, sporting a 7-4 record. NU no longer has the control of their destiny. They’ll be needing a ton of luck and assistance from DLSU’s opponents in order to enter the Final Four.