KIEFER Ravena said the future of Ateneo basketball will be in good hands with CJ Perez set to come on board.
Although Ravena will no longer be around by the time the former San Sebastian star becomes eligible for Ateneo in 2016, the 'King Eagle' is excited about the prospect of Perez beefing up an already talented side in what should be a one-and-done campaign for the Pangasinan native.
“Siyempre big addition si CJ in our team,” Ravena told Spin.ph. “We are looking forward to the future kasi at least, pag-alis namin, (in) good hands siya. CJ is going to play only one year due to residency pero malaking tulong ang mabibigay niya.”
Following his transfer from San Sebastian, Perez will have to take a one-year residency next year - Ravena's final season with the Blue Eagles - before being eligible in Season 79.
But Ravena sees a bright future for the Blue Eagles with Perez expected to team up with top high school prospects like Jerie Pingoy, Hubert Cani, Arvin Tolentino and even his younger brother Thirdy.
“Sobrang good program. Coach Bo (Perasol) has done a miraculous job in really putting the program (together). Hopefully, mag-pay-off sa kanila in the future and I’ll be there to support them,” said Ravena.
Ravena also said he was impressed by Perez in the times they played with and against each other in several charity games and offseason tournaments.
He doesn't see the need for any major adjustments for Perez when he joins the Blue Eagles, saying the Stags star is already seasoned enough to make an impact.
“Si CJ, beterano na. Alam na niya ’yung college basketball. Hindi na siya ’yung pahihinugin mo pa at maghihintay ng results. Kasi ready to play na siya,” said Ravena.
“CJ is one of those players na mahirap bantayan. He has a strong body tapos very athletic. It’s just nice to know na kakampi mo siya,” he added.
The transfer of Perez from San Sebastian to Ateneo was not spared from criticism but Ravena said they have advised the former Golden Stag to just focus on the positives.
“Wala na tayong magagawa doon. Hindi na natin maiiwasan ’yun. Sinasabihan rin namin si CJ na huwag nang pansinin ’yung mga ganun. Probably, it just didn’t work out with San Sebastian. But we are happy for him,” said Ravena.