WHILE he may be considered a veteran for all the basketball he has played, Kiefer Ravena admitted the need to still adjust in his very first PBA game with NLEX.
The highly-touted rookie guard came close to a triple double with a team-high 18 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds in the Road Warriors' hard-earned 119-115 win over Kia Picanto in the two teams' season debut in the PBA All-Filipino Cup.
But just like any rookie, Ravena was relieved to sink his first attempt as a pro – a three-pointer from the right side - off a Larry Fonacier feed, 7-3, to help him settle down and get his game going on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V-San Juan Arena.
“Nanibago pa rin (naman). Sobrang suwerte ko lang na na-shoot ko kaagad yung una kong tira. Pero after that, OK na-kalma na ako,” the former Ateneo star said.
“Iniisip ko na baka lumabas 'yung tira ko or ma-turnover (ako) agad. Sobrang dami ng naglalaro sa isip ko," he stressed. "Of course, dagdag confidence sa akin ito that I got the first game out. Nabunutan ako ng tinik.”
The 24-year-old two-time UAAP MVP no longer scored in the fourth quarter when the outcome of the game was on the line, but didn’t mind yielding the spotlight to more seasoned teammates like Fonacier, Alex Mallari, and backcourt partner Kevin Alas.
“I just tried to play my game, attack and see who’s open. It’s not just like college na parang kailangang i-assert mo yung sarili mo. But when it comes to the pros, everybody does their part in taking over,” said the eldest of former PBA stalwart Bong Ravena and national team player Mozzy Ravena two basketball-playing sons.
True enough, the Road Warriors didn’t totally take control of the game that has 20 lead changes until Fonacier completed a rare four-point play with a little over a minute left, 117-113.
The second overall pick in the last draft said he still has a lot to learn.
“Yun siguro ang pinakamahirap doon pag first game pa lang. But I just try to play my game and stick to the system. We have one win on the board and kailangan lang talaga naming na mag-focus,” he said.