Gilas’ seven-point loss to Italy not an improvement, says Kiefer Ravena
MANILA, Philippines–Even Kiefer Ravena has stopped counting moral victories.
The fact that the Philippines managed to trim a margin of deficit from 46 points to just seven against world No. 10 Italy is of little consolation to the former Ateneo star now playing professionally in Japan.
“I don’t know. It’s still a loss,” Ravena told reporters late Tuesday after Gilas Pilipinas lost to Italy, 90-83 to bomb out of contention in the Fiba World Cup.
The last time the Filipinas faced the Azzurri, they were handed a 108-62 beating in the 2019 edition of the tournament in China.
“I don’t know if it’s redemption or something like that but I’m not that type of player who would consider something like that as an improvement,” Ravena added. “You all know how competitive I am. We will bounce back next game.”
Revena provided quality minutes in the loss that left the Philippines winless after three games in the preliminaries and relegated the team to the classification round.
Kiefer Ravena on the crowd’s jeers on Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes. #FIBAWC
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Although losing to Italy anew was a bitter pill to swallow, Ravena stressed that they need to keep their heads up as they play in the classification round with the eliminated teams from Group B starting on Thursday.
“We still got two games. So we can’t put our heads down too much. [We will] recover from this [loss]. [We’re] out of contention but again, two more games. We can’t take it lightly,” he said. “Obviously, we’re not in a position to do anything close to even taking it lightly but we’re thankful to all our supporters.”
The 29-year-old guard insisted that “there is no scale of role when it comes to the national team” as he and Rhenz Abando have accepted their coming off the bench and are always ready to deliver whenever tapped by coach Chot Reyes.
“The first guy is just as important as the 12th man. Because in this kind of short tournament, we need to give any kind of help that we can. Every role is important,” said Ravena in Filipino. “Communication is important for each one of us. All of us 12 players are ready to do whatever it takes for our country and we won’t leave each other until the end.”
Abando, who also made the most of his extended playing time with eight points against Italy, attributed his game to Ravena for helping him to stay ready, coming off the Gilas bench.
“Our time is very limited so we need to contribute and make an immediate impact,” Ravena said. “Me and Rhenz, we’re always ready. As you can see, Rhenz injects a lot of energy into the team. We have the same role that’s why we always talk to each other.”