Kiefer Ravena is back on the national team after Gilas head coach Tim Cone handpicked the sophomore pro to take over the spot vacated by Jayson Castro who was earlier dropped from the training pool due to an ankle injury.
Cone believes that the eldest son of TNT coach Bong Ravena brings so many intangibles to the table and that includes leadership and maturity.
“It’s an extra body. It’s an extra talent. We are going to miss Jayson terribly but Kiefer has some of that Jayson ability in him. We lose the experience of Jayson but Kiefer has that rare maturity that kinda lands himself to be able to play with a bunch of vets and still be a leader and still do the things he needs to do. He is kinda rare in that way,” said Cone.
The concurrent Brgy. Ginebra mentor bared that the coaching staff considered other players as well but in the end the 26-year old out of Ateneo de Manila University was the hands-down choice.
“We considered some other players but it really just kept coming to Kiefer. We asked him and he said yes so we are happy to have him,” explained Cone.
Ravena was in attendance for the national team’s tune-up game against Alab Pilipinas, Monday night at the Meralco Gym but wasn’t fielded in due to a back injury.
“Kiefer has a back issue after a bad fall in practice. He couldn’t play. I would have played him if he could play because I think he’s just natural. He could have picked up things and play the natural type game that we want to see. Yeng Guiao’s offense is very unique but it’s got some of the elements that we do that we are doing. I don’t think it’s going to be a stretch for Kiefer to learn our offense,” said Cone.