'Relaxed' Kiefer Ravena happy with impressive PBA start, but focused on getting wins
Santino Honasan on Jan 03, 2018 06:05 PM
“We have a goal here, to win as many games as we can, and the 2-0 start is a very good sign to start the season and hopefully also with this new year, we’re able to carry the momentum coming into our next few games, which is very important.”
In the days leading up to his PBA debut, second overall pick Kiefer Ravena talked about basically calming himself down and finding a sort of inner peace as he begins a new chapter in his basketball career.
Following a massively successful collegiate career that saw the former King Blue Eagle win two titles and two MVP trophies in the UAAP, Ravena became easily one of the most popular non-professional cagers in the country.
Many believed that Ravena was more than ready for the big stage through his stints with the Philippine national team, and in his PBA debut, ‘The Phenom’ lived up to the hype as he dropped 18 points and dished out twelve assists, leading the NLEX Road Warriors to an opening day win against KIA Picanto.
Days later, Ravena topped his debut double-double with a 20 point-five assist-four steal outing to get the W over Globalport.
Ravena ended 2017 as the season’s first Player of the Week.
Not bad for a rook. Not bad at all.
For Ravena however, it’s all about getting the W, and getting as many as possible.
“It’s a good way to start my pro career. More than anything else, more than the stats, I’m looking at the bigger picture.” Ravena told ABS-CBN Sports. “We have a goal here, to win as many games as we can, and the 2-0 start is a very good sign to start the season and hopefully also with this new year, we’re able to carry the momentum coming into our next few games, which is very important.”
A 2-0 start is good, of course, but the NLEX playmaker knows that this is just the start, and it’s only going to get tougher from here on out.
“The longer the season progresses, the teams dig deeper and deeper into their players and their scouting reports to prepare for each team. I expect it to be hard, even harder coming into the next few games progressing into the season.”
“We just have to be prepared. It’s a good start for the whole team.” He added.
As for finding his ‘inner peace’ so to say, Ravena is averaging 19 points and 8.5 assists to start his PBA season. If that’s any indication of how his PBA career is going to go, they it looks like he’ll be doing more than just fine.
“I’m just relaxed and letting the game come to me. I don’t force things, just trying to see where it goes, and play within our system.”
While indeed, two games is still a small sample size to work with, it’s likely that he can flourish in what he calls a ‘guard-oriented’ system with Coach Yeng Guiao and NLEX.
“Our system is a very guard oriented system, it’s a very thinking system, so you have to be on your toes, whether you read your defenses and plays right away, so kami yan ang iniisip namin.”
“For me, just have to adjust to certain situations, focus on the gameplan and trust the system.” Ravena continued.
The 2-0 Road Warriors take on the 1-1 Phoenix Fuel Masters on Sunday, January 7th at the Araneta Coliseum.