by Waylon Galvez
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao disclosed yesterday that there is an appeal for FIBA-suspended player Kiefer Ravena to rejoin the Road Warriors and be allowed to play in the 44th season of the PBA which opens on Jan. 13.
Though nothing is specific at the moment, Guiao said that they welcome the development with “guarded excitement and optimism” to boost the team composition with Kevin Alas returning from a knee injury and Poy Erram acquired in a trade with Blackwater.
“We still don’t know exactly when he’ll play,” said Guiao, adding that because of Ravena’s 18-month suspension, the 25-year-old playmaker also hasn’t been practicing with the squad.
“That’s also a factor, so these are the important things we’re looking at – when is he going to be allowed to play (by FIBA) and how long will it take for Kiefer to get his game back,” Guiao said.
A source confirmed Guiao’s information Sunday, saying the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has already appealed to FIBA to trim Ravena’s 18-month ban after the 2017 No. 2 overall rookie draft pick failed a test early this year.
His suspension will reach its completion in August next year.
A roster that has Erram at the center spot alongside Alas and Ravena at the backcourt will give NLEX a competitive nucleus and install the Road Warriors among the top contenders in the PBA Philippine Cup.