Kiefer Ravena in race against time to regain match fitness as Alab faces do-or-die game
Kiefer Ravena led Alab with 16 points but admits running short of air in the end. ABL photo

SINGAPORE — Kiefer Ravena was far from satisfied with his performance in his Alab Pilipinas debut, admitting that fatigue also took its toll in his first game in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) against the home team Slingers.

Ravena led Alab Pilipinas in scoring with 16 points on Sunday in Game One of the best-of-three semifinal series, but couldn't get the away team over the hump after the Slingers took a 42-31 halftime lead on the way to a 77-67 victory.

“Siyempre kulang,” said Ravena when asked to assess his debut after the loss. “Talo eh. Wala namang performance na ma-sasatisfy ka na talo.”

Ravena played major minutes for the first time in a long while, having gone to the US to be a developmental player for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League before playing in short tournaments for Mighty Sports in between.

[See Singapore Slingers spoil Ravena debut with easy home win over Alab]

Ravena, however, is happy to get his play long minutes for the first time in a while.

“Pero mabuti rin for me kasi first time in a long while. Mabuti na rin for me kasi first time in a long while ako nakapaglaro ng ganun. It feels good na tired pero okay lang, dahan-dahan bumabalik ‘yung laro,” said Ravena.

The multi-titled cager sees the need to regain top form as fast as he could, with Alab facing elimination in Game Two of the best-of-three semifinal series on Friday in Baliwag, Bulacan.

“Pero kailangan na namin ‘yung Game Two kasi baka sa sobrang dahan-dahan, baka wala ng Game Three. Kailangan namin triple ng effort at magsama-sama lang kami,” said Ravena.

While he showed signs of fatigue, Ravena said it didn’t take long for him to adjust to playing with teammates and competing against opponents he used to face during his spell with the national team.

“Adjustment-wise, wala namang problema kasi nakalaro ko na sila one way or the other. ‘Yung mga ganito, wala ng adjustments. You have to find a way to win. It’s a player's game to win. Whatever the coach tells you, it’s still up to you whether you execute it or whether you want to do it,” said Ravena.

Ravena now looks forward to Game Two.

“It’s a matter of getting Game Two, and preparing well. We can’t start the way we started this game. Nung second half, equal-equal na lang ‘yung scoring. So hindi puwedeng ganun,” said Ravena.


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