Ravena keeping emotions in check as FIBA suspension ends
MANILA, Philippines – The wait is finally over for Kiefer Ravena as his FIBA suspension ended on Saturday, August 24, but he does not want to get caught up in the hoopla of his hardcourt return.
Ravena has been cleared to participate in all basketball activities and will play his first official game after an 18-month ban when Gilas Pilipinas hosts the Adelaide 36ers on Sunday.
"Personally, I don't want to think too much about it as much as I can," said Ravena, who last played on May 23 last year when the Mindanao All-Stars beat the national team during the PBA All-Star Week.
"I'm still trying to treat it just like any other game, although I can't deny the fact that I'm really, really excited knowing I'll be able to play again."
"It's been a long ride, it's been a tough journey but I'm just trying to keep myself balanced. Not really too excited or not really feeling too low or not too calm about it. It's just in the middle."
Ravena will be the center of attention as the Philippine crew tries to reassert its mastery over the visiting Australian squad it defeated in their first meeting.
After all, aside from his keenly-awaited basketball comeback, Ravena has been tabbed by Yeng Guiao to take over the starting point guard role left by Jayson Castro in the FIBA World Cup.
But Ravena will make sure he will not let his emotions get the best of him.
"I still don't know what my game will bring out, but hopefully, it's something that will be of help to the team," he said.
"It's easy to say that, 'I'm only going to do this,' but you can't avoid doing things differently in the game, especially on how you read certain situations."
"Now, I have no reason to hold back. I've waited this all my time out of basketball and now it's here and I can't waste any opportunity."
Although taking a levelheaded approach, Ravena admitted he will have trouble sleeping on the eve of the big game knowing it marks a fresh start of his basketball career that had been derailed more than a year ago.
Ravena even worked on his outside shooting for about 30 minutes right after their three-hour practice to tire himself out.
"For me it's just a matter of containing myself. I need to release this energy in the game, especially this is the latter part of our preparations," Ravena said.
"Everyone is tired, but I still haven't played yet so this is my chance." – Rappler.com