Ravena, Teng relish chance to pay it forward as coaches in NBTC All-Star
— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) March 23, 2018ADVERTISEMENT
They are two of this year’s top rookies in the PBA, but Kiefer Ravena is confident that he is better than Jeron Teng–at least when it comes to coaching.
His Team Cherifer Dedication topped Team Cherifer Passion, 91-89, in the 2018 NBTC Division 2 All-Star Game on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“The discussion of who’s the better player is still a long debate, but at least for me, I can say that I was better when it comes to coaching,” said Ravena with a grin.
Ravena once again claimed bragging rights over Teng as they called the shots for the standouts from some of the country’s top highschool basketball teams.
The two former collegiate stars were happy to have been given a chance to pay it forward to these budding ballers, and share their knowledge even just for this game.
“It’s a great experience for me. I learned a lot today and it was really fun. I’ve been here before and I know how it feels to have this opportunity to be watched all over the country and showcase our talents,” said Teng. “We’re all blessed here and I told them that whatever path they take in their future in basketball, they just have to keep on working hard. That’s the secret of all successful basketball players.”
Ravena, for his part, is proud to have bore witness to the growth of the NBTC, which gave an opportunity for players even from far-flung cities to showcase their skills under the bright lights.
“It feels great knowing that I was part of the pioneer group of NBTC a decade ago. It’s just an amazing feeling being able to see great talent from the provinces and here in Metro Manila and it’s good for them to accept and be grateful being in this kind of atmosphere at a very young age.
He recalled the humble beginnings of the NBTC, now on its 11th year, before it turned into the country’s version of “March Madness,” the big dance in the US NCAA.
“The NBTC was a small group before where it was just a training camp. There wasn’t even any madness in MOA. But now, with the development of coach Eric Altamirano, coach Alex Compton, and all the regional directors of NBTC, they come together once a year to focus in and help evolve this young guys to experience something they haven’t experienced before and I‘m very blessed to be part of this program.”
Teng, meanwhile, is hoping to return again next year, not only to help in the training program but also to avenge his loss to Ravena.
“Next year, I’ll coach here again,” he said with a smile.
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