Ravena, Alas ready to step up for Gilas in Romeo’s absence
With Terrence Romeo missing Gilas Pilipinas duty due to a knee injury, coach Chot Reyes is hard-pressed to find someone to fill the hole left by the high-scoring guard, putting much of the burden on the shoulders of Jayson Castro.
Fortunately, Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas are raring to contribute for the national team as it opens its 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers campaign against Japan on Friday at Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Gymnasium in Tokyo.
The NLEX guards are included in Reyes’ 12-man lineup for the Japan game with Philippine side dealing with a depleted guard rotation.
“It’s a big advantage for me to play with some of the best players in the league,” said Ravena. “Being around them twice a day helps me a lot when it comes to learning the nuances of the game. We’re locked in these next two weeks which will be important for our campaign in the 2019 Fiba World Cup.”
Ravena has had numerous stints with the national team, last seeing action in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.
Alas, meanwhile, had to wait for three long years before getting this chance again, with his last tour coming in the 2014 Fiba Asia Cup in China.
“I’m just excited to play for the national team again. I’m really looking forward playing against Japan,” said Alas, who has grown into one of the the Road Warriors’ top guys the past season.
The match against the Japanese is set at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in Manila).
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