Kiefer Ravena ‘relieved’ after making his first game back from long layoff
MANILA, Philippines—He’s officially back.
Kiefer Ravena played his first game after his 18-month suspension in Gilas Pilipinas’ 85-75 loss to the Adelaide 36ers in their final tune-up game ahead the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup Sunday at Meralco Gym.
The 6-foot guard had 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field in his return to action that had him breathing a sigh of relief.
“When I first got into the court, I just felt relieved,” said Ravena in Filipino. “I don’t need to hide anymore, I won’t think that I can’t do what I’m doing, or that I can’t play the game.”
“I’m just playing the sport that I love and representing my country to the highest and best of my abilities.”
Fiba suspended Ravena back in May of 2018 for ingesting a substance included in the banned list of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Ravena was allowed to practice with his club team NLEX and Gilas two months but he still wasn’t able to play in the national team’s trip to Spain wherein they played in a pocket tournament.
“It’s been 18 months but coach Yeng (Guiao) made sure that I won’t exert too much effort because I was too eager to play,” said Ravena, who checked into the game at the 3:15 mark of the first quarter.
“For me to be able to share the court with them once again is a huge thing for me coming into the World Cup.”
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