NBTC All-Star Game coaching gig gives Kiefer Ravena a taste of future career
Former college rivals Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng turn coaching protagonists in the NBTC All-Star Game Division 2. Marlo Cueto

KIEFER Ravena and Jeron Teng enjoyed their stint as head coaches in the NBTC All-Star Game Division 2, saying they were happy to impart their knowledge to players based mostly in the provinces.

“It’s just an amazing feeling being able to see great talent from the province and here in Metro Manila. I’m very blessed to be part of this program,” said Ravena after coaching Team Dedication in a 91-89 win over Teng’s Team Passion.

Teng said he enjoyed his role as a first-time coach.

“Sobrang blessed ako kasi siyempre kahit papaano, na-experience ko ’yung na-experience nila and I know how it feels to have this opportunity to be watched all over the country and showcase our talent. We are all blessed here," said the Alaska rookie.

Ravena said he had no hesitation whatsoever accepting the coaching role despite coming off a draining semifinal series between NLEX and Magnolia in the PBA Philippine Cup.

It's the least he could do to pay it forward, the PBA rookie said.

“It’s everything for me. I’m still a little bit tired from the first conference. But I said yes even though hindi ko alam kung ano schedule namin. Sabi ko, maliit na bagay ito in how NBTC was able to develop me in my career whether in the basketball court or as a person,” Ravena said.

Ravena said he was impressed with La Salle Lipa’s Raphael Dimayuga, St. Benilde International School’s Shawn Algire, and Bacolod Tay Tung High School’s James Barrera and Ryan Cruz.

“Those were the guys kaya sila naiwan sa loob. Pandiin na lima ko. Nung una, nagkakapaan at nagkakahiyaan pa. I guess it’s just human nature. But I’m very glad we pulled off this victory,” said Ravena.

Teng said he was impressed with Kevin Barranco of St. Roberts International School Iloilo, Harold Alarcon of Bacolod Tay Tung HS, and Marc Angcap of University of Luzon Dagupan.

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“Total team effort for us. Sayang lang talo but we had our chance of winning. Breaks of the game,” said Teng.

Despite the loss, Teng gave words of encouragement to his team before they return to their respective provinces this weekend.

”They played well and I’m very proud. I told them kahit anong path nila in the future, keep on working hard. ’Yun naman ang secret ng successful basketball player,” said the former La Salle star.

Ravena saluted the NBTC for putting up a tournament that has reached new heights in its 11th season.

“With this exposure, with this program, it’s good for them to accept and be grateful for being in this kind of atmosphere at a very young age. The NBTC was a small group before where it was just a training camp. There was even no Madness in MOA.

“But now, with the development of coach E (Eric Altamirano), coach Alex (Compton) and to all the NBTC programs, all the regional directors of NBTC, they come together once a year to focus on and help evolve these young guys na maka-experience sila na hindi pa nila na-eexperience before,” Ravena said.

As for their coaching battle, Ravena and Teng look forward to a grudge match next year.

“Siguro kung sino mas magaling na player, mahaba-habang debate yun. Maraming kanya-kanyang ano. Pero at least ako, mas magaling mag-coach,” said Ravena in jest.

“Gusto ko ’yung ganitong bagay. Its nice for me to handle these young guys. Probably in the future, something I look forward to after my career,” the NLEX rookie said.

“Next year, mag-coach ulit ako dito,” Teng said.

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