Kiefer Ravena is trying to process the most out of his first loss in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“You take the good with the bad,” Ravena said on Sunday night after Phoenix Petroleum clamped down hard on NLEX’s super rookie and held him to just eight points—his lowest in his three-game pro career—that helped doom the Road Warriors to their first loss in the Philippine Cup.
“There were a lot of things to be learned tonight,” the 6-foot guard went on as he was met by girlfriend, volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez, just outside the NLEX locker room at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“And the biggest thing there was that I know that you can’t be passive in this league. You just can’t go out there and turn it on when you want it.”
Ravena said that he tried pacing himself in the first half, knowing that the defense was on him right from the start.
But when the going got rough in the third period, Phoenix already had his number and he couldn’t do much about it.
And he was even more helpless in the fourth, when the Fuel Masters opened up a 17-point lead and practically decided the outcome with a lot of time left.
Shooting close to 19 points and handing out 8.5 assists in the first two NLEX victories, Ravena was clearly at his worst against Phoenix and it instantly brought him back to Earth with a loud thud.
“I will have to prepare even better for different situations,” he said after shooting 4-for-13 from the field in NLEX’s 95-102 loss. “I have no excuses. I shot poorly and that didn’t help the team at all.”
Ravena was processing everything while he talked and, instead of dwelling on how he was made to look just like any other rookie, immediately pointed out that there was a lot of work to be done.
“We have a string of tough games ahead, against very strong teams,” the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player with Ateneo said. “Better get ready for those teams. It will be even harder.”
Fans have seen the best and worst of Ravena in just three pro games, and it would be interesting to see how he bounces back.
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