Kiefer Ravena makes his much-awaited return to the hardwood as Gilas Pilipinas plays the Adelaide 36ers in the last of a two-game tuneup series, Sunday evening at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
This will be the 25-year-old’s first game since FIBA slapped him with an 18-month ban for a doping violation after he inadvertently took a pre-workout drink containing banned substances.
Ravena’s suspension officially lifted on August 24. He arrived at the venue at around 4:30 p.m. – and hour and a half early for their 6:00 p.m. friendly with the visiting Australian ball club.
Ravena will play with Gabe Norwood, Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, Paul Lee, Robert Bolick, CJ Perez, Mark Barroca, and Roger Pogoy.
Matthew Wright and Poy Erram are still absent, as they continue their recovery from minor injuries.
Gilas looks to build on its 92-83 win over Adelaide last Friday. There, the team flaunted its character as it averted a meltdown by finishing the match with a 12-3 blitz after falling behind 80-81.
On the other hand, the 36ers are keen on securing a victory while on their Philippine. They are coming off an 87-91 loss to the Ateneo de Manila University last Saturday.
This will be Gilas’ last tuneup before the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China set this Friday, August 31. The 12-man lineup for the global basketball spectacle will be announced on Monday.