By REYNALD MAGALLON
Kiefer Ravena is seeing a lot of room for growth in his stint with the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B. League which is to kick off this weekend.
In an interview streamed through the Lakestars’ YouTube channel, Ravena expressed his excitement in joining his new team as he looks forward to coping up with the new basketball environment that he is in, especially with the Japanese basketball making great strides in international competitions the past years.
“We’ve talked about how we can learn a lot from different styles of basketball. I played against the Japan national team before and they’re only getting better. The teams are just evolving and developing all the players so I’m really excited to see where I am as a player and improve even more,” said Ravena who will still be wearing his jersey number 15.
Ravena isn’t new to Japan’s brand of basketket having played against its national team numerous times in FIBA Asia competition. He even sparked Gilas Pilipinas to come-from-behind 89-85 win over the Akatsuki Five when he scattered 13 points in 2018.
Ravena also added that he used to play against universities in Kyoto back when he was still in Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles in the UAAP.
“I’m excited to finally be with you guys. It’s been a long time coming. I’m excited to be part of the Shiga Lakestars,” said the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart.
“I’m just excited to learn from each and every one of my teammates from the management to our staff and just allow myself to grow with Shiga.”
Ravena hopes to bring stability on the Lakestars backcourt with his averages of 15.8 points on 40-percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.8 steals in the four games he played for the Road Warriors in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.
“Hoping to bring a lot of intensity, pride, and heart that I can bring to the team and hopefully we get a championship for Shiga,” added Ravena.
Interestingly, Ravena and the Lakestars will be opening their Japan B. League campaign against his brother Thirdy Ravena and the San-En Neo Phoenix on October 2 and 3 at the Urakuchan Arena.
“I’m very proud that we’ll be able to play against each other. This is a great honor for my family. When the game time comes, it’s difficult because we can’t treat each other as brothers. We have to play against one another just like any other team and any other opponent and I guess that’s just one form of respect, that’s one way of showing our respect by playing our best,” said Ravena.
“As brothers we know that we bring out the best in one another so hopefully we get to do that and provide what our team needs for us to win but definitely I will be doing my best for us to come on top,” furthered.
Ravena also thanked all of his supporters as well as the PBA that allowed his release to join his new team.
“To all the Filipino fans, thank you for supporting me in my journey, in representing not only the Philippine brand of basketball, but also the PBA and I’m just so grateful for you guys that you’re there to support me every step of the way.”