GILAS Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao is ready to unleash Kiefer Ravena for the second of the national team's two-game series against Adelaide 36ers on Sunday.
"Of course, we’re all excited," he said. "There was not really any big adjustments in terms of him getting in shape, conditioning, and being strong. Kaya malaki yung tiwala ko na mabilis lang yung transition period niya."
Ravena's Fiba-imposed 18-month ban expired on Saturday, clearing him out to finally return to the hardcourt.
Sunday's tuneup will be Ravena's first taste of action since playing in the Batangas leg of the PBA All-Star Weekend in May 2018.
But as giddy as the feeling for everyone is, Guiao said that everyone should still temper their expectations with regard to the 25-year-old guard's comeback.
"We don’t want to be too excited. Ayaw naman natin na mag-overexpect tayo, but the important thing is he can play now," he said. "We don’t need to bother thinking about any consequence after today."
One thing's clear for Guiao, that what he's having is a rejuvenated Ravena, ready to make up for lost time as he makes the most of this new chapter in his playing career.
"This is like a new start for his career. Parang nag-birthday ulit yung career niya ngayon. This is his rebirth as a basketball player," he said.
"I think all the things needed to put him in a good position to play tomorrow, we’ve done already. Nagawa na natin yung lahat ng bagay na kailangan itulong natin sa kaniya, itulong niya sa sarili niya, pati na yung mental preparation.”