Kiefer Ravena will sit down with NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao when he comes back home soon to discuss his future with the ball club and the PBA.
The star guard is scheduled to arrive next week after being called up for another tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas in the 31st Southeast Asian Games. But it’s definitely not just flag and country that he will have to take care of.
“Actually, naguusap na kami ni Coach Yeng and we talked about the plan,” said Ravena, who’s about to wrap up his first year with Shiga in the B.League.
“Ang napag-usapan… ang unang bungad, ‘Boboto ka ba?’ ‘Yun talaga. ‘Ano boboto ka ba?’ ‘Oo coach, boto ako.’ Dun kami nag-open up. And anything specific, sige, pag-usapan pagbalik ko kung anuman mangyari,” added the Leni Robredo supporter.
The 28-year-old is in something of a one-year rental with the Lakestars, and is expected to return to the Road Warriors come the 2022 Philippine Cup.
However, there have been talks that the all-Filipino wars – set to tip-off on June 5 – is the only conference that Ravena will play in. Rumors say that he will return to Japan afterward, and then sign a multi-year extension with Shiga.
The second-generation cager, though, doesn’t want to look too far ahead. He’s focused on finishing a campaign he feels immensely grateful for.
“For me, it’s been an adventure. Something, definitely, I will treasure for the rest of my life,” offered Ravena, who flew to Japan late last year and is averaging 13.0 points, 5.9 assists, and 2.3 rebounds for Shiga. “Nandoon na ‘yung factor na hopefully, mabigyan ng chance in the future na makapaglaro.
“Ngayon, last two games, parang ang bilis din ng oras, ang bilis ng nangyari sa lahat. Very grateful ako sa opportunity na nabigay ng Shiga.”
Still, it doesn’t change one bit his connection with NLEX. In fact, he makes it a point to keep in tabs not just with Guiao, but with the whole team as well.
“Even before, tumatakbo season, lagi pa rin naman akong in touch with NLEX. Naghahanap ako ng way to talk to them.
“Si Kevin [Alas], lagi ko nakakausap. Kinukumusta ko rin ibang coaching staff. As much as possible, tumutulong pa rin ako kung ano matutulong ko. Hindi naman mawawala ‘yun sa akin,” added the 2017 second overall pick.
Thus, the excitement he feels in teaming up again once more with good pal Kevin Alas in Gilas for the upcoming biennial meet in Hanoi.
“On-court reunion namin, kahit papano magkakaroon kami ng head start kung magkaroon kami ng chance maglaro together sa NLEX. Lamang kami, may ensayo kami together. We’ll take it that way,” said Ravena.
“We all know he’s going through something with his family, but that shows the dedication, the sacrifices needed in our sport,” he added.
“Within our peers naman, si Kev, isa ‘yan sa mga pinaka-respetadong tao. We wish him nothing but the best, sa challenges. Full support kami sa kahit anong desisyon niya, kung anuman gagawin niya.”