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    B.League import Kiefer hopes his familiarity enough for Gilas to shackle Japan

    Jul 17, 2022
    Kiefer Ravena Gilas Pilipinas vs New Zealand
    Kiefer Ravena refuses to dwell on another loss to the Tall Blacks.
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    GILAS Pilipinas was quick to put this tough 92-75 loss to New Zealand in the rear view as it shifts its attention to the more important tasks at hand in the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup.

    And its top priority now? Stopping Japan.

    Kiefer on Gilas vs Japan KO match

    The two teams collide in the knockout quarterfinals on Tuesday and the key now for the Filipinos is finding the timely tonic before that clash against the Akatsuki Five.

    "Knowing Japan and being able to play there and watching their game, hitting 27 threes, hopefully they don't do that again against us," said Kiefer Ravena on Sunday.

    Gilas already begun its adjustments for the do-or-die duel with three minutes left in its game against the Tall Blacks as the result was already a foregone conclusion.

    Ravena was referring to Japan's hot streak last Friday against Syria where it shot 27 triples, nine coming from Yutaro Suda and seven from Keisei Tominaga, as it pulled off the 61-point blowout, 117-56.

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    Ravena, as well as his brother Thirdy Ravena and Ray Parks, are familiar with most of those in the Japan lineup being imports in the B.League, and as nuclear as the Akatsuki Five has been in the continental tourney, it's something that the Philippines thinks it can manage.

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    "It's something that we can control," he said after dropping 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists in this final game in pool play. "They really rely on their dribble kickouts, overhelp from their opponents, we have to make sure we keep that in check."

    "It's all about our effort, our defense, helping one another, and at the end of the day, you know, we have to play together as a team."

    What worries Ravena, though, is Gilas' rebounding with it ranking dead-last among 16 teams with just 30.7 boards.

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      Take this loss to New Zealand where the Philippines got beaten black and blue on the boards, 61 to 28, with the Tall Blacks hauling down 20 on the offensive end.

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      "Rebounding has been the waterloo for us the whole three games we had, so we can't let that happen especially in the qualifying rounds," he said.

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      Kiefer Ravena refuses to dwell on another loss to the Tall Blacks.
      PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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