Just over a year ago, Kiefer Ravena made his return from the States. With his return, he was immediately enlisted to join the Gilas Cadets program.
The second generation cager was tapped by national team to be part of the 3×3 World Cup, the Jones Cup, the Southeast Asian Games, and the Champions Cup teams. Safe to say, he was the leader of that batch of cadets.
A year later however, a lot has changed.
New faces trained inside the Meralco Gym, Monday evening. On the other hand, Ravena and his batchmates Jio Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer, Mac Belo, among others were already in the pros and have been promoted to the Gilas Elite squad.
Still, the 6-foot combo guard could not help but marvel with what the next generation has in store.
“It’s nice to watch the future of the Gilas program.
“I wouldn’t say basketball dahil marami pa diyan but this program is in good hands with Coach Chot [Reyes] and Boss MVP, just manning everything with control para maayos yung tinatakbo ng programa,” Ravena shared as he watched the night’s session.
Ravena felt like he was the elder statesman of the squad as the majority of the team went over to him on the sidelines, shaking hands with him as if they were paying due respect to him.
Having played with or against some of the players in the pool, Ravena knows that the team’s veterans will guide their younger teammates during this process.
“Arvin [Tolentino] is only a couple of years younger. Abu [Tratter], Vince [Tolentino], CJ [Perez] are my age,” said the 24-year-old.
“With all their experience, marami silang matutulungan sa mga bata.”
And he is hoping that he gets to play with them come the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“That’s something new na ako yung pinakamatanda sa court ngayon though I’m not practicing,” Ravena quipped.
“If I stay healthy and wala masyadong injuries, on 2023 I get to play with them and represent the country for the Worlds.”