TWO-TIME PBA grand slam coach Tim Cone heaped praises on Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena after getting a chance to coach the reigning UAAP MVP in a charity game on Wednesday.
Ravena hit the game-winning shot for the Cone-mentored PCWorx, scoring on a lay-up with 1.3 seconds left in a 98-96 win over a Gawad Kalinga side composed of the Ball Up Streetball All-Stars and coached by former NBA superstar Allen Iverson at the Mall of Asia Arena.
No wonder Cone had only glowing words for the Ateneo Blue Eagles star, who scored 16 points in the 'All In' charity game that also featured streetball stars from the US, former NBA and PBA players like Eddie Curry and DeMarr Johnson, and fellow college standouts.
“Kiefer has an uncommon talent,” said the Purefoods coach. “He is a once-in-a-generation talent.”
“That is just uncommon for a guy his age,” Cone added about the 21-year-old Ravena.
Ravena was of course flattered by Cone’s remarks.
“From him, ibang klase,” Ravena said. “For him being a grand slam coach and coached one of the best point guards in PBA history in Johnny Abarrientos, it’s a feat in itself.”
“Added pressure,” Ravena added.
To drive home the point on how good the kid is, Cone needed only to describe how the 'King Eagle' made the basket in the game-winning sequence of the charity exhibition game.
“You can see it when he got that last shot. He got the ball in his hands, he knew the clock, he knew how much time he had. He didn’t panic. He just had great confidence and hit that basket,” Cone said.
The most successful coach in pro league history said he is confident that Ravena will be one of the big stars both for the national team and the PBA when he finally decides to turn pro.
“He is a special talent. He will be a mainstay for the national team in years to come along with the Fajardos (June mar Fajardo) and the Slaughters (Greg Slaughter),” said Cone.