Kiefer Ravena still hoping for MVP’s return to Ateneo-A A +A
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
MANILA -- Kiefer Ravena, who is expected to banner the Ateneo Blue Eagles next year, expressed hope that top businessman Manny Pangilinan will reconsider his decision to cut ties with the school that racked up five straight UAAP men’s basketball titles.
Pangilinan announced his "complete and total disengagement” from his alma mater last September 21 over differences with the Jesuit-run institution on the issue of reproductive health bill and mining, one of his prized investments.
But he still joined the team in mass shortly after it swept University of Santo Tomas in the finals on October 11, describing it on Twitter as his “final act.”
“It's still at the back of my head that one day that he will come back. If not for him, we won't be able to get five straight championships. He's one of the biggest contributors to our team and hopefully he can help us again," Ravena, a former top rookie, told reporters.
After being in the doldrums in the 1990s, the Eagles soared high in the past decade as they won six crowns in the last 11 years. Pangilinan brought in Norman Black, who later turned out to be the most successful coach in amateur basketball in recent times.
Pangilinan also sponsored the Eagles’ summer trainings in the United States, which, in a way, contributed to the school’s sterling performance in the UAAP.
Rumors of Pangilinan turning his attention to Ateneo’s neighbor University of the Philippines swirled last week after he donated P5 million to the Alpha Sigma Fraternity on its 50th year. In his keynote speech, Pangilinan even poked fun on the Fighting Maroons, the perennial whipping boys in the eight-team field.
So far, the Eagles said they are not yet looking for someone who can fill Pangilinan’s shoes.
“I don't think the school is doing it right now. I don't think they are searching. Nobody can replace MVP as the patron of the school. If anything, we haven't reached that point yet, whether how the team can be supported this time around. We can talk about that when we get there,” said team manager Paolo Trillo. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)