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    Kiefer after Gilas' Fiba Asia exit: 'I felt like I let the team down'

    Jul 20, 2022
    Kiefer Ravena Yuki Togashi Gilas vs Japan Fiba Asia Cup
    Kiefer Ravena tries to get past fellow B.League playmaker Yuki Togashi.
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    KIEFER Ravena was honest enough to admit that he felt he failed to be the leader that Gilas Pilipinas needed in its ninth-place finish in the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup.

    Kiefer Ravena assessment on Gilas' Fiba Asia Cup bid

    Designated as the team captain, the Shiga Lakestars guard was just gutted as the Philippines failed to make it to the quarterfinals of the continental tourney for the first time in 15 years.

    "I felt like I let the team down, not being the leader that they expected," he rued after Gilas' tough 102-81 defeat to Japan in the playoff on Tuesday.

    "Maraming pagkukulang, there's a lot of shortcomings of being a leader but it comes with experience as well and I'm still learning from them."

    Not helping was the Filipinos' inability to adjust after a slow start, which Ravena referred to as "the second game in a row where practically the game was lost in the first quarter."

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    Japan jumped to an early 23-10 start and although the Philippines was able to mount repeated rallies, it could not break through the 10-point cushion in the second half and was shown the door after this 21-point defeat.

    But rather than dwell on the loss too much, Ravena took consolation on the facets of the game that worked in Gilas' favor, among them the rebounding story.

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    "Something that is a little bit positive is I think we were able to learn from our mistakes during the New Zealand game. We're being outrebounded by 33 and now winning the rebounding department so looking at the bright side of it," he said, as the Philippines gained the edge on the boards, 40 to 34.

    What did not work for Gilas, though, was its error-prone ways, committing 17 turnovers which Japan manufactured into 23 easy points.

    "Basically Japan scored on every turnover that we had. They had 23 points and especially in the team against Japan, those turnover points are mostly are threes. So it was a big deficit for us," said Ravena.

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      Still, Ravena echoed coach Chot Reyes' sentiments and called this trip as a "learning lesson" for this young Gilas team.

      "As coach said, this is all our first Fiba Asia Cup. I'm not here to make any excuses but I just told them that this is for the long haul. Whether we play in Japan, we play in the PBA, we play in Korea or wherever our careers take us, this is something that we have to really embrace and take into heart and take it personally that what happened here is something that can make us better," he said.

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      Kiefer Ravena tries to get past fellow B.League playmaker Yuki Togashi.
      PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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