FOR Alab Pilipinas, the controversy involving its new player Kiefer Ravena is a ‘non-issue’ in the days leading up to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) playoffs.
“We don’t talk about it sa team,” said Alab Phead coach Mac Cuan. “We just try to focus at the task at hand.”
The sight of Ravena attending his first practice with Alab Pilipinas on Wednesday came as a morale boost for the Philippine side, which comes in as an underdog against a second-seeded Singapore Slingers side that will enjoy homecourt advantage in the best-of-three semifinal series.
Game One is on Sunday in Singapore.
Cuan is all the more encouraged to see Ravena immediately fit in during practice, having watched a couple of Alab games prior to leaving for the US to rehab an injured hand.
“He did his assignment way before he joined us in practice,” said Cuan. “He already asked for our playbook the last time he watched us. And he has been watching our games.”
“So may background na siya ng sets and what we are running,” he said.
Alab Pilipinas flies to Singapore for their match against the Slingers in Game One on Sunday before heading back home for the second match next Friday at the Olivarez College Gym in Paranaque City.
Even with little time, Cuan is confident Ravena only needs minor adjustments before he can fully adopt to the team concept of Alab.
“It’s really more of the familiarity with each other na lang but you can only get that with games you play. But overall, I like how he is blending in and adjusting to us. Tulungan lang ‘yan and we tried to make it easy for him,” said Cuan.