Ravena’s top rookie bid slips as FIBA also rules out PBA stint
MANILA, Philippines – Kiefer Ravena can’t take the floor even at home.
The 18-month suspension FIBA slapped on Ravena for testing positive on banned substances bars the PBA rookie sensation not only from international play but also in the local pro league.
FIBA issued the clarification upon the request of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“The FIBA has replied in no uncertain terms that his ban covers all basketball leagues,” Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes told SportsCenter Philippines. “Whether under FIBA or not, it covers all basketball leagues.”
The ruling prevents the 24-year-old cager from suiting up for Gilas in the 3rd window of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup starting this June.
Ravena – who admittedly took a a pre-workout drink and later tested positive for 3 substances included in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) List of Prohibited Substances – already sat out during NLEX's 93-89 win over the Blackwater Elite on Wednesday, May 30.
Since the sanction extends to "all forms of leagues and activities," Ravena also can’t take part in the Road Warriors' practices and training sessions.
The development will also likely dash Ravena’s bid for the PBA Rookie of the Year award, where he was the leading contender after averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.9 steals last conference.
Ravena, who admitted that the suspension remains painful, had accepted his fate. But he still intends to stay in top form, noting that he's finding his "own ways of trying to keep in shape."
The former Ateneo star also plans to raise awareness on banned substances to help prevent other Filipino athletes from committing the same mistake. (READ: Kiefer Ravena finds silver lining in ‘painful and life changing’ suspension)
"Together with the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee), SBP and the PBA, we agree to make this an advocacy and for me to be an instrument to the education of the Filipino athletes nationwide," said Ravena. "As a country promoting fair play in all sports, we want to stop future circumstances regarding this issue by increasing the knowledge of all our athletes." – Rappler.com