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2023 FIBA World Cup

Kiefer Ravena relishes being around young Gilas: ‘Nagiging bata rin ako’

Kiefer Ravena has been a Gilas mainstay for so long despite being just 28 years of age.

In his long career with the Philippine men’s national basketball team, he racked up five gold medals and a silver, in the Southeast Asian Games, most by any Filipino baller. He has also appeared in numerous World Cups in both 5-on-5 and 3×3.

But despite being still in his 20s, it feels like the changing of the guard has already started for Gilas.

Ravena is the most veteran in the Philippine squad that played in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ third window.2023-FIBA-WCQ-Gilas-vs.-India-Kiefer-Ravena-4114 Kiefer Ravena relishes being around young Gilas: 'Nagiging bata rin ako' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“Sarap kasama. Nagiging bata ako,” Ravena, who is fondly called Manong, said referring to his teammates.

“Nakakatawa kasi every time nagfi-fill-up kami ng form, nakikita ko ‘yung teammates ko, born 2000, born 1999, may sumisingit na 1993 doon.”

In the 10-man Gilas that played against India, the average age of Ravena’s teammates was 22 years old with Francis Lopez the youngest of them all at 19.

After Ravena, William Navarro was the next in line at 25 years old while the rest of the squad is under it.

Despite being young and undermanned, Gilas still delivered the goods at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, scoring a 79-63 drubbing of India.

For his part, Ravena still delivered, tallying 12 points, four assists, two steals, and two rebounds.

Despite being the oldest and being the captain, Ravena knows that learning is a two-way street.

“Nakakatuwa kasi kasama pa rin ako sa process na pagiging better as a player, better individual. I’m willing to learn from these young men,” said Ravena, who first played for flag and country in 2009.

“‘Yung pagiging captain ko, nandiyan lang naman ‘yan eh, label lang naman ‘yan.”

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Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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