Castro believes Ravena will take over as Gilas' starting point guard
MANILA, Philippines – This early Kiefer Ravena is already an integral part of Gilas Pilipinas and Jayson Castro believes the 24-year-old will take over the starting point guard reins for the national team in the future.
Ravena led the bench mob in Gilas' 89-84 win over Japan Sunday, February 25, as he logged in 13 points, 5 assists, two rebounds and two steals. He also recorded an efficiency rating of plus-minus +19 in 26 minutes of action.
"The Phenom" provided the spark off the bench Gilas badly needed, scoring 8 points in the first quarter to help the squad overcome an early 16-point deficit.
.@kieferravena turned things around for Gilas Pilipinas in the first quarter after the team trailed by as much as sixteen! #PUSO!— ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) February 25, 2018
For more Gilas content, visit https://t.co/ZIJiUnP27x | #LabanPilipinas pic.twitter.com/kgBje8JsUZ
While Castro is still Gilas' first option at the point guard position, he thinks Ravena will be the one taking over his role.
"Oo, kasi makikita mo kay Kiefer na willing siyang matuto," Castro said when asked if he sees Ravena as his heir apparent.
(Yes, because you can see that Kiefer really wants to learn.)
In 4 games in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Ravena is norming 7.3 points, 3.3 assists and two rebounds.
"At the same time, nandiyan si Terrence (Romeo), so 'yung tandem na 'yun for sure magiging maganda," Castro added.
(At the same time, Terrence Romeo is there and their tandem for sure will be a sight to see.)
Ravena, meanwhile, is relishing the opportunity of learning from the country's top players as he matures in the international basketball scene.
"In terms of preparing on the big stage, siguro malaking bagay 'yung araw-araw mong nakakasama 'yung pinakamagaling na players dito sa atin," said Ravena.
(In terms of preparing on the big stage, it is a big thing that you get to play with the Philippines' best players.)
He also notes that Gilas' trust in him at a young age has been a confidence booster.
"I guess the preparation is just a matter of playing together, trusting the system, trusting yourself as well. So lahat naman kami, pwede magstep up dito sa big stage."
(I guess the preparation is just a matter of playing together, trusting the system, trusting yourself as well. Everyone of us can step up here in the big stage.)
With the 3rd window of the Asian Qualifiers still happening in 4 months, Ravena will return to action in the PBA where he is averaging 16.9 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds for the playoff-bound NLEX Road Warriors. – Rappler.com