Kiefer Ravena trained in US with career ‘longevity’ in mind
MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena just finished a 3-and-a-half week training-centered trip to Las Vegas, United States and has since been practicing with Gilas Pilipinas as part of the national team’s 24-man pool for the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers in July.
Ravena, who also plays for Mighty Sports in the PCBL, said that training in Vegas at Impact under Coach Joe Abunassar was a way of “opening up my opportunities over there, just [wanting] to try it out.
“[It’s] similar to being just a dream ever since I was a kid. That’s all I’m doing now,” said Ravena on Wednesday, May 25, looking much leaner and toned compared to when he left.
“I was there for 3 weeks and a half, quite long, but [it] actually went by so fast,” he said. “Those weren’t vacation days. I wish it was, but it’s a time for improvement. It’s a time for me to work on my craft, and be ready for high competition such as Gilas training.”
Ravena concentrated on honing his skills while getting in the best shape he could.
“I lost 20 pounds,” said the two-time UAAP MVP who just finished his collegiate career with Ateneo last year.
“I went to 205 for quite some time, 210 right after the season. Now I’m back to 185, 184. Five percent (body fat) gone from the previous one, but it’s a change in lifestyle that you have to have, and it makes you feel good even though you’re tired.”
Ravena’s diet included cutting out sugar - specifically soda - chips, and other junk food. He also lessened intake of rice and ate more lean meat.
All of what he accomplished was centered on the goal of having a long and successful pro basketball career.
“It’s more for the longevity of your career that you want to have in the professional level, so I guess that’s all I thought about,” he said.
While in the United States, Ravena also took a short trip to San Francisco where he met Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard who at that time was playing against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs.
Ravena says he also ran into Gary Payton, Brian Shaw and DeMarcus Cousins while abroad.
“Damian just shot with us because he had Game 5 (of the Western Conference Semifinals) during that time and DeMarcus was there just working out, lifting. Didn’t really work on the court so I was just watching him. Big dude,” he said.
“It’s a good experience for me just being around those guys and just making it feel to me how it plays in the NBA.”
Ravena is now one of the remaining 21 players (3 - Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Greg Slaughter and Paul Lee - are injured) from the Gilas pool competing to make the final 12 roster for the Olympic Qualifiers.
“I gauge it as equal as anybody else in this team,” he said about his chance of making the cut. “That’s the mindset. You can’t be like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m not really going to make it, I just want to help the team.’ But it’s a chance of a lifetime for me to be in this team.
“Again, we fight for the pride of the country,” he added. “Whether you make it, you’re the 13th, or the 14th, or the 12th man in the team, you have same pride as anybody else.” – Rappler.com