NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao has nothing but praises for the professionalism shown by Kiefer Ravena, which has kept the Road Warriors focused despite the issues prior to the PBA season.
The second-generation cager remains one of the most talked-about figures today. Many are curious about what will happen to his stint with the Shiga Lakestars of the Japan B.League, which the PBA denounced.
Asia’s pioneering pro league has insisted that he should honor his contract with NLEX. Still, the team is hoping that it would change its mind.
But while he and the club await the decision, Ravena continues to show up and work with his teammates, much to his mentor’s delight.
In fact, during the height of that issue, the 27-year-old guard diligently attended NLEX’s closed-circuit practices in Pampanga.
“It’s a tribute to his character. It’s a tribute to his upbringing,” Guiao said. “Kilala ko ‘yung pamilya nila eh. Si Kiefer, he’s able to focus on the job at hand.
“That’s the professionalism that he has.
“Anuman mangyari roon sa mga issues in the future, pwedeng isantabi muna ‘yun at mag-focus muna kami sa mga laro namin. So he’s been doing that,” he continued.
That was evident on Sunday. Ravena poured 19 points and five assists, helping the Road Warriors beat defending championss Barangay Ginebra, 94-75, to collect their first win in the 2021 Philippine Cup.
That proved to be a fitting redemption from the sorry 82-83 opening day loss they absorbed at the hands of Rain or Shine.
“He’s not been a distraction. Hindi siya naging distraction whatsoever,” said Guiao.
“He’s still the same Kiefer that we know from the very beginning.”