KIEFER Ravena has long been an advocate of 3-on-3 basketball.
In fact, Ravena led a call last year to include it in the list of official sporting events in the UAAP, a proposal well-received by some board members of the prestigious collegiate league.
That's why the former Ateneo star couldn't hide his excitement when he saw aspiring Filipina cagers train for the Fiba Asia 3x3 Under-18 on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The teenage players, who will fly to Malaysia on Wednesday for the May 26-28 tournament, even joined the trio of Ravena, Jeron Teng, and Kobe Paras in performing some drills.
"Sobrang happy kasi yun nga, kinausap ko nga yung girls kanina and told them that this is a sport na I study. I'm pro-3x3," said Ravena, who will team up with Teng and Paras in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup in France next month.
"I'm happy with the small steps that we are making, na may mga babae na under-18 then may world pa. It's a great development for the SBP and Gilas."
The son of PBA cager Bong Ravena is optimistic with the potential of the sport, and sees it as an Olympic event in the future. When that happens, the former Ateneo standout is confident the Philippines can qualify and contend.
"I believe that if this becomes an Olympic sport, we have a chance to be in it," he said.
His focus now, though, is on their campaign in the France showpiece where they will face the host country, El Salvador, Slovenia, and Romania.
But he is hopeful with enough preparation, they can pull surprises in the tournament and improve on its ninth-place finish last year.
"I'm excited but rookie pa rin kami dito. When we saw the pool nga, malalakas na teams kalaban namin," he said.
"Hopefully, we can surprise and have a better finish compared to the worlds last time."