For 487 days, Kiefer Ravena went all-out to support Alyssa Valdez in all of her endeavors.
Ravena – whom the International Basketball Federation slapped with an 18-month suspension – was there during Valdez’s dominant 2018 PVL campaign. He was there to drive her to work, go abroad, and even for simple dates.
So when Ravena’s ban from on-court activities ended Monday, Valdez made sure to be there and cheer for him.
“Actually, nakaka-miss panoorin talaga si Kiefer,” admitted Valdez. “Iba yung presence na nadadala niya inside the basketball court.
“I think because Kiefer is close to our hearts and we know how he plays, very passionate, iba rin talaga ‘pag nakikita mo yung Kiefer Ravena representing our country.”
During Ravena’s 16-month layoff from the game, Valdez saw him in his lowest of lows. And so the decorated spiker could not help her emotions once Ravena was back to doing what he loves most.
“Well everyone – ako lalo na – really waited for him to be back playing basketball.
“He was trying to play golf after that suspension, but I’m really happy. Kahit ako na-ooverwhelm sa feeling na nakakapaglaro na ulit siya,” shared Valdez. “I’m really just proud of him.
“Mahirap ang pinagdaanan niya talaga, but he was able to surpass it. At grateful ako na nakakapaglaro na ulit siya,” she continued.
Still, Ravena has a tall mountain to climb in the next two months.
Yeng Guiao has tasked the 6-foot combo guard to be one of the lead guards of Gilas Pilipinas for its FIBA World Cup campaign this August. FIBA’s suspension will only allow him to play 10 days before the global meet.
Knowing Ravena more than anyone else, Valdez knows that the second generation stalwart embraces this daunting task as he tries to surprise the country once again.
“He really trained and waited for this day. He gave his hundred-percent not only because he’s asked to, but he also wanted to show everyone that he’s ready,” she opined.
“Coach Yeng’s not wrong in his decision in making him part of the pool.”
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