Kiefer Ravena finally joined the practice of the NLEX Road Warriors, Tuesday morning at the FCL Center in Katipunan after serving out majority of the 18-month suspension slapped on him by FIBA after failing a random drug test in February 2018.
The ban on international and even professional play will actually lapse on August 24 but rules state that the player can already attend practices during “the last two months of ineligibility or the last one-quarter of period of ineligibility imposed.”
The 25-year old son of TNT head coach Bong Ravena likewise attended the Monday evening practice of Gilas Pilipinas and is being groomed by coach Yeng Guiao to take over the spot of Jayson Castro who opted to beg off from national team duties and spend more time with his family.
“I treated it as a normal practice, just like my first day last year,” said Ravena. “I want to make it routine as possible, to hasten the process, to get back to my rhythm, especially, ibang team ito eh, NLEX ito eh, so every time na nandito ako, yung priority ko is to really think about what’s happening now first, and then pag nasa Gilas, sa hapon, yun naman ng pino-proseso ko.”
Aside from already being allowed to attend practices, the ban on watching the games live has also been lifted and the 2nd overall pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft could not think of anything better to do than to be there at the venue when NLEX takes on Rain or Shine on Friday, June 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It was a good practice, we have a game on Friday against Rain or Shine. I’m excited to watch, it’s been a while since I’ve watched a basketball game. I’ll be there to watch and support the team.”
With the Road Warriors virtually out of the running in the Commissioner’s Cup, Ravena’s focus is fixed on the upcoming Governors’ Cup which is slated to start on September.
“Again, it’s more than three months until I get to play with them kasi sa September pa, we’re preparing early for the third conference, so hopefully, ngayon pa lang, good start na sa amin.”