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Kiefer Ravena back at Gilas practice after long layoff

/ 05:23 PM June 24, 2019
Kiefer Ravena Gilas

Kiefer Ravena warms up in his basketball return. Ravena, who was out for over a year, rejoined Gilas Pilipinas practice on Monday, June 24, 2019, at Meralco Gym in Pasig. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Kiefer Ravena is back after being out for over a year. 

Ravena on Monday made his first basketball appearance since May 2018 after being suspended by FIBA for unknowingly taking a pregame supplement that contained banned substances under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list.

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The 25-year-old Ravena has been cleared to practice since his ineligibility period ends on August 24, 2019.

READ: Kiefer Ravena out to show ‘tougher, wiser’ version in return

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Ravena, one of the best young players in the country today, rejoined Gilas Pilipinas in practice in time for the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China, which tips off on August 31.

“I felt like a kid and you gave back my toy after taking it away from me for a long time. That’s exactly how I felt,” Ravena said in Filipino as he tried to put his basketball return into words after practice.

“I woke up 12 hours before practice. Obviously, I am ecstatic just to be around coach Yeng (Guiao), the coaching staff and to expand my knowledge about the system and most importantly, to be around my teammates.”

The former Ateneo star is also set to be back training with the NLEX Road Warriors on Tuesday.

READ: Kiefer ‘most logical choice’ as Castro replacement

Ravena is expected to play a vital role for Gilas after being tapped by head coach Yeng Guiao as the replacement for Jayson Castro, who begged off from the 2019 Fiba World Cup duties Friday night.

READ: Castro to skip 2019 FIBA World Cup

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TAGS: FIBA, Gilas Pilipinas, Kiefer Ravena, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA, practice, Suspension, Training
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