Perasol, Ravena, Pessumal say win versus La Salle makes up for "tumultuous" Ateneo week

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--A victory on Sunday night against archrival La Salle was what Ateneo needed to put to rest what the team thought was a tough five-day stretch.

"This is a good way to cap our tumultuous week. In fact, for me, emotionally parang naging anti-climactic because of what happened the past few days," said Coach Bo Perasol to the press after the win that put the Blue Eagles in a good position to force a playoff for the second twice-to-beat spot.

[Related Story: Ateneo puts La Salle in danger of missing Final Four with win]

Team captain Kiefer Ravena agreed with the mentor and added, "Very special siya kasi [ang dami naming] pinagdaanan this past week."

Fellow skipper Von Pessumal also seconded their take on the win and said, "This victory means a lot for us, especially [for] our morale. As you know, this past week, we had a lot of bad events against us. The heat was kinda on us."

Ravena also said that the events that transpired since Wednesday night, when rookie center Chibueze Ikeh was arrested for an alleged violence against a woman, gave them ample time to strengthen their bond.

"Nagkaroon kami ng opportunity to even be closer as a team. We took everything positively," the former Gilas cadet continued.

Pessumal thanked the Ateneo community and the fans for the continuous support to them despite the recent happenings.

"I just wanna thank the alumni and the fans for keeping with us. They never really bashed us. The support never wavered," the graduating shooter expressed his gratitude.

Ravena also said that the team will utilize the five-day break to finally move on from the tough stretch.

He said particularly, "[We have] five days off the training [for] resting our minds and our bodies after [this] tumultuous period."

The long layoff will mostly benefit point guard Matt Nieto, who Perasol confirmed had a hamstring injury late in the game but appeared to be OK upon leaving the dugout afterward.

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