MANILA, Philippines – There are far more important things than basketball for Kiefer Ravena this time despite seeing his supposed fresh start in the PBA stalled by the coronavirus crisis.
"We always say that there are things that are bigger than basketball and I guess this is one of those times," Ravena said in a mix of Filipino and English.
"I have more time to be ready for a whole season," he added. "At the same time, you take a step back and appreciate the things that you have because there are a lot of things happening now."
Expectations were high for Ravena going into the new season considering how he performed in his first PBA conference back from his suspension.
Ravena led NLEX to the No. 1 spot after the eliminations and emerged as a Best Player of the Conference contender – impressive feats for a man who missed competitive basketball for more than a year.
But Ravena has to wait for quite some time before he returns to the hardcourt, with games expected to be shelved for months as the number of coronavirus cases in the country rises by the day.
"You miss your teammates, you miss playing, you miss competing, you miss the people in the PBA," Ravena said.
"All of us are tired of what is happening now, but there are certain sacrifices that [we must make] and we should just think about the people who are really sacrificing to fight the virus."
Forced to stay at home, Ravena cherishes quality time with his family.
"We're appreciative of the time that we're having with one another. During regular days, we barely see each other because of our busy schedules."
So now, the Ravena household relishes even the simplest things like eating together, sharing stories, and playing mahjong.
"These are little things that you thought didn't matter but when the quarantine was placed, you kind of appreciate them like, 'Hey, we haven't done this for a while'," Ravena said.
Ravena also finds time to stay in shape, working out at home every other day.
"You want to be healthy because the virus spreads fast," he said. "It's also a test of your discipline, how you're going to take care of yourself throughout the quarantine period." – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.