Kiefer Ravena, PBA star and former Ateneo Blue Eagles member, may not be able to play with the Gilas in its tune-up games in Spain, but he still acquired much from the team’s training camp there.
Ravena is still under a 18-month suspension after he tested positive for three banned substances, causing him to miss the Gilas’ games versus Ivory Coast and Congco. Despite that, the NLEX rookie identified himself as the team’s top cheerleader from the bench as he provides updates and answer commentaries on Twitter regarding the games.
Aside from cheering, Ravena was also able to observe from the bench what was still needed in the team.
“You get to see the team in a different perspective kasi, so nakikita mo kung ano ‘yung kulang, ano ‘yung mga kailangan sa team. So pag nagpa-practice ako, ‘yun ang ginagawa ko, ‘yun ang pinupuno ko kumbaga,” he said.
“It was really tough to see my teammates really tired, especially ‘yung tournament namin was at the latter part of the trip. Pero sobrang proud ako doon sa effort na binigay nila,” Ravena added.
Moreover, he was glad to see that the team has developed not only their chemistry inside the court but outside as well.
“More than anything else, I guess ’yung na-gain ko dun is ’yung pag-sasamahan namin,” Ravena said.
“The camaraderie that we built all throughout the trip, ’yung little things na ginagawa namin, ’yung sama-sama kami na kumakain for breakfast, ’yung mga ganoong bagay.”
“For a team na ’yung oras is not on our side in terms of practicing, ’yung mga ganoong detalye, malaking bagay ’yun para sa amin,” he said, sharing his sentiments on the improvement his team.
Meanwhile, Gilas won 3 out of their 4 games against Spain, but that does not make them feel at ease.
The team will be complete by next week as the players from San Miguel Beer and TNT join the practice after the PBA Commissioners’ Cup finals.
Afterwards, they will proceed in playing exhibition games against the Adelaide 36ers on the 23rd and 25th before their China trip.