Ravena writes history in SEA Games cage gold

Mark Escarlote on Jun 15, 2015 11:58 PM
Ravena writes history in SEA Games cage gold
Kiefer Ravena became the first Filipino to win three straight Southeast Asian Games basketball gold medal (photo courtesy of Dyan Castillejo).

SINGAPORE --- Kiefer Ravena shouted "Yes! Makakauwi na ako! I’m free!" as ABS-CBN Sports pulled him from the crowd for a postgame interview after he and the Gilas cadets collected the gold medal in the 28th Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball finals against Indonesia.

The Philippines once again ended up on top of the event for the 11th straight edition of the biennial meet after taking down a hard-fighting Indonesia, 72-64, Monday night in front of a large Filipino crowd inside the OCBC Arena Hall 1 here.

Aside from the glory of helping the young Gilas squad retain the crown and prove once again that the Philippines is a basketball power in the region, the 21-year-old Ateneo de Manila star just made history as the cager with the most number of gold medals with three straight after his debut in the 2011 Palembang games and two years ago in Myanmar.

Naturalized player Marcus Douthit also played in those three championships but Ravena is the only Philippine-born player to record the feat.

Ravena admitted that between the three gold medals he got, this Singapore mint is the toughest to earn.

Last Sunday, the Gilas cadets needed the clutch three-point shot of Ravena in the last 16.2 seconds to save the country from humiliation in a narrow 80-75 escape from upset conscious Thailand.

The finals game against Indonesia, which the PHI beat in the opening game by 29 points,was not easy either with the Gilas cadets only taking control of the duel in the last 47 seconds after.

Ravena said that this could be the last time the team will play together as the team is expected to part ways with some including Ravena climbing into the professional league before the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.

But for now the team will celebrate.

And yes, he can finally go home with that gold medal around his neck.

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