NLEX coach Yeng Guiao admitted he managed Kiefer Ravena’s minutes in the team’s 101-75 loss to TNT KaTropa in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night with the rookie point guard coming off national duty along with Kevin Alas.
With the game having a foregone conclusion, Guiao opted to sit Ravena in the second half after playing him the entire second period, resulting in the rookie sensation finishing with just one point after missing all his three shots.
“I think at some point it was futile on our part, plus you have to look forward,” Guiao explained after their last game of the eliminations. “Galing siya sa Gilas. Pagod din sila ni Kevin. Actually mas pagod siya kay Kevin kasi pati yung sa Japan game naglaro siya. Si Kevin was rested. I took that into consideration also.”
Additionally, Guiao said it was better to give Ravena a rest with the playoffs looming just ahead.
“Looking forward, maybe we're playing on a Sunday or on a Monday, ‘di ko na sinugal,” he added. “Tsaka ‘di mo alam kung kailan may mangyayari baka matsambahan pa ng injury. Alam ko yung game nila sa Australia medyo meron siyang slight injury nun. I just didn't want to take that risk anymore.”
Ravena felt his lack of playing time was justified after he wound up with his lowest offensive production early in his pro career.
“I guess I didn't deserve to play and you know, I'll learn from this,” the 24-year-old cager said. “Hindi naman pwedeng may excuses na dahil galing sa Gilas, dahil ganito, pagod, dahil ganiyan, wala namang ganoon. Wala namang ganoong nararamdaman.”
“Yung tatlo din naman naglaro din kanina, ‘di ba?” he added, referring to TNT’s national players Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy, and Troy Rosario. “So everybody has no excuse on how we play. I personally just played bad and you know, we just have to bounce back and stay positive going into the playoffs.”