Kiefer Ravena to rejoin Gilas Pilipinas, NLEX practices
MANILA, Philippines—Kiefer Ravena is set to rejoin the NLEX Road Warriors in practice on Tuesday, the team said in a press release.
Ravena has been out of action since May 2018 due to an 18-month suspension imposed by FIBA for testing positive for banned substances under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list and the prolific guard is just raring to lace up his sneakers and get buckets like he used to for the Road Warriors.
The 25-year-old Ravena hopes to pick up where he left off.
“All I wanna do is get back to the court, play with NLEX, play with my team,” he said. “The semifinals, hopefully, the finals and someday bring a championship here to NLEX.”
Under FIBA rules, Ravena is allowed to practice two months before the end of his ineligibility period. His suspension officially ends on August 24, 2019.
Ravena may have been away from the game for over a year but he’s managed to make good use of his time throughout the long layoff.
“I’ve been doing my job staying in tip-top shape, doing a lot of extra work by myself on and off the court,” he said.
But more than trying to keep himself in top condition, Ravena also took time to educate others by raising awareness on anti-doping through seminars and talks before athletes, team officials and coaches.
Ravena, who is also expected to participate Gilas Pilipinas training on Monday, said the setback made him a better person on and off the court.
“It’s about being mentally tough, rising above the occasion,” said Ravena, who also expressed his gratitude to NLEX for rallying behind him.
“I’m in an organization that trusted me, who kept me, and knew that I would still do my job whether I’m playing or not. It’s my duty to give it back to this organization that by the time I’m ready, it’s as if I was never gone.”