Guiao ‘impressed’ with returning Ravena
MANILA, Philippines—There has been one constant fixture throughout Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup, there was one constant.
Several problems plagued Yeng Guiao in leading up to the tiff in China from scheduling conflicts to players’ injuries, yet Ravena was the one consistent player during training.
Ravena, whom Fiba suspended for 18 months for violating the World Anti-Doping Agency’s protocol, was allowed to practice with Gilas back in June but only played in a regulation game on Sunday during the Philippine national team’s 85-75 loss to the Adelaide 36ers in a tune-up game at Meralco Gym.
Guiao said he was satisfied with Ravena’s performance even though the 25-year-old guard was coming off a long layoff.
“I’m happy, I’m satisfied, and I’m impressed actually,” said Guiao. “It’s his first game but it was already impressive. Actually I was thinking of putting him back in the end-game but I decided to save it because I was already happy with what I saw.”
Ravena played for 17 minutes and scored 11 points in 5-of-8 shooting, all coming in the second and third quarters, but saw no action in the fourth period.
Guiao expected that Ravena, who’s part of the final 12-man lineup, would still improve heading to the World Cup.
“He will still get better, and the good thing about Kiefer is he’s not just contributing on the floor and he also contributes off the floor,” said Guiao. “Even as young as he is, he is well-respected and considered as a leader of this team already.”
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