I’ll surprise a lot of people – Ravena on return
Mark Escarlote on Jun 22, 2019 06:28 PM
think maraming magugulat kasi gusto ko talaga magulat ang mga ibang tao na di naniniwala na makakabalik ako sa dati -- Kiefer Ravena
Kiefer Ravena vowed that come his return to basketball action after a year and a half of a FIBA-imposed ban, he will be in the same tip-top shape as if he never served a long suspension.
“I think I'll surprise a lot of people with my game shape and my conditioning right now,” said Ravena on Saturday while watching the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The NLEX star, who was suspended since February last year after testing positive of a prohibited substance during his stint with Gilas Pilipinas, will attend the national squad practice on Monday at the Meralco gym.
"On Monday, I've been given a chance to practice with the team and I'm just excited to be with Gilas,” he continued. “’Yung mga sakripisyo ng mga players na naglaro sa qualifiers at tumuloy ng journey na ‘yun, this is one way of giving it back to them.”
Ravena will be joining Gilas Pilipinas in its preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
In his months of basketball hiatus, Ravena spent most of his time trying out other sports and found interest in playing golf. Admittedly, Ravena gained some weight.
But when his suspension neared its end, the four-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, got back into training with a motivation of proving his critics wrong.
"I've lost a lot of weight, 22 pounds, and playing-wise, I think maraming magugulat kasi gusto ko talaga magulat ang mga ibang tao na di naniniwala na makakabalik ako sa dati,” Ravena pointed out.
“Totoo na mahirap din mawala ng isa't kalahating taon and it's really a mental game kung paano mo i-push ang sarili mo to work out and stay in tip-top shape,” he added.
Ravena recalled that he was counting down the days when he will have the green light to get back on the hard court and a chance to redeem himself.
“As soon as I got suspended, nakita ko talaga kung kailan ako pwede and World Cup ang unang pumasok sa isip ko,” he said. “Ito ‘yung pinakamalaking chance ko makabawi, di lang sa tao, sa mga taong sumusuporta sa akin, at pati din sa national team. Pilipinas ang nadamay sa sitwasyon na nangyari sa akin.”
Ravena is expected to suit up for the Road Warriors in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup in August.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles