Kiefer Ravena (Photo from FIBA)


Kiefer Ravena was hopeful of Gilas Pilipinas’ chances in the fifth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers despite missing the services of NBA star Jordan Clarkson. 

The Shiga Lakes captain arrived in the country last Oct. 31 with his brother and fellow B.League standout Thirdy Ravena and went straight to practice the next day to join the nationals. 

“First day of practice namin ni Thirdy kahapon sa national team. And I think si Dwight (Ramos) and si Ray (Parks) are also on their way. So, team’s looking good,” said Kiefer. 

However, Gilas Pilipinas would be without Clarkson who has commitments to fulfill in the ongoing NBA season for the Utah Jazz.

“I mean, [it is] an opportunity for everybody to step up. Mahirap punuin ‘yong numbers ni JC pag isang tao lang. So, kailangan talaga lahat ‘next man up’ type of mentality as the clichĂ© goes. ‘Yon opportunity lang na binibigay sa harap namin na kailangan namin i-grab,” added Ravena. 

Clarkson provided the winning boost in the Gilas pool a few months back which saw them win three games against three losses in the qualifiers.  

With the current lineup released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) last week, Ravena is still thankful that the “majority of the core players from the last window” would provide just as much lift in their two away games against Jordan on Nov. 10 in Amman and then Saudi Arabia on Nov. 13 in Jeddah. 

“I guess with the core players that played from the last window. Malaking bagay na onti na lang ‘yong kailangan namin  i-adjust in terms of knowing how to play with each other. ‘Yon naman ‘yong naging problema the last time sobrang bilis lang din talaga nung nangyari and walang time,” he said. 

With Kai Sotto, who is playing in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) with the Adelaide 36ers, also rejoining the Gilas crew, Ravena deemed the 20-man lineup “more than capable [of] functioning on its own.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (