Ravena back right away for PH team in Fiba Asia Champions Cup
A veteran of numerous international wars, Kiefer Ravena is set to lead Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup which starts on Friday in Chenzhou, China.
Even coach Chot Reyes admitted he expects a lot from the 23-year-old guard, who is coming off a fourth gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The former Ateneo Blue Eagle is no stranger to international competitions but he said that the continental club championship presents a different challenge not just for him but for the whole team.
“This is my first time here and not discounting the SEA Games and the SEABA (Championship), in terms of Asian basketball, this is the highest level I’ve been in. Playing in 3-on-3 in the world is still different from the 5-on-5 game,” he said.
Ravena also said that the leadership role won’t be solely on his shoulders, as he looks forward to linking up with prospective naturalization candidate Isaiah Austin, granting the lanky 7-foot-1 center gets his Chinese visa.
“Isaiah is going to be big for us. Hopefully, his papers will go as smooth as possible. In terms of this tournament, he’s really an asset to the team. It’s not very often you see a 7-1 who can play the wing in Asia. We’re very lucky. Hopefully, he fixes it and helps the team,” he said.
“We expect to really give our hearts out. You’re already there, so why not go for the win and do everything you can? We’re in a group where we have a chance to advance to the next stage, so hopefully we can win as many games as we can,” he said.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas is in Group A along with ONGC of India, Mono Vampire of Thailand, Petrochimi of Iran, and Sarreyet Ramallah of Palestine.
“Again, it’s a test of character, a test of our willingness to win. These are the games where every game will be a grind out game. You have no choice but to find a way to win and we will find it,” he said.
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