Ravena to sit out Gilas' tuneup games in Spain training camp
MANILA, Philippines – Even in Gilas Pilipinas' training camp in Spain, there will be no tuneup games for Kiefer Ravena.
Ravena flew with the Philippine team on Sunday, August 4, to Spain but will not see action in a string of friendly matches as he continues to serve his suspension from FIBA that will end on August 24.
"I won't be able to play in Spain but I'll do my best to help the team. I guess I'll be the number one cheerleader out there, together with the Filipinos who will be watching," Ravena said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Without Ravena, only 10 players will suit up against Congo and Ivory Coast in back-to-back practice games in Guadalajara. (READ: Gilas to miss almost half of 19-man pool for Spain camp)
The Philippines will then head to Malaga to face Congo again, this time in a pocket tournament where the winner will face the victor between Ivory Coast and Spain.
"We're playing a few national teams out there, so it's going to be a good gauge for us," Ravena said.
"If we play as one team in a real game, we'll see the progression since we started. It's a learning curve for us when we get to Spain."
"All of you saw that we still lack chemistry. That's why Spain is very important to us because we won't have any distractions there and all we have to do is play basketball and jell as one unit."
While he will be reduced to a spectator during games in Spain, Ravena said he has to turn his focus on keeping himself in lethal form before the global hoops showdown kicks off in multiple cities in China on August 31.
"I still have to do my assigment, I have to work out and stay in shape. It's not a vacation for me, I wish it was but it's not, this is work."
"All these guys made their sacrifices, it's the offseason for them right now. I've been out for the past 18 months and they still haven't rested. I still have to work my butt off."
"I just have to watch a lot of film to really prepare myself so when it comes to games, it would be like I was still with them throughout this journey. I can't give excuses." – Rappler.com