Is Kiefer Ravena good enough to make the grade for Gilas? Coaches speak mind
Former national coach Louie Alas feels Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena should first cut his teeth with the Gilas cadets before making the move up to the senior team. Jerome Ascano

IS Kiefer Ravena good enough to be with Gilas Pilipinas?

Such debate raged on Twitter over the past two days after a broadcaster from a major network, raving about Ravena's game-winning performance against University of the East in the UAAP, tweeted that he feels the Ateneo star should be with Gilas in the Fiba World Cup in Spain.

A hashtag that Gilas fans felt 'disrespected' the current members of the national team and consequently stirred a furor that soon dragged coach Chot Reyes into the fray was later ironed out, but it took the focus away from the whole point of the brouhaha.

So is Kiefer good enough for Gilas?

Of course, none of these would have mattered if Ravena hasn't been nothing short of spectacular for Ateneo this season. The third-year player has twice reset his career high in scoring and leads the MVP race by a wide margin while leading Ateneo to a league-best 7-2 record.

Spin.ph sought out Ateneo coach Bo Perasol to get his thoughts on the issue. The second-year coach said he has no doubt that Ravena has the potential to be a Gilas player - in the future.

Perasol feels Ravena can match up with the players in his position in terms of skills set. He also believes Ravena's deep understanding of the game - his basketball IQ, as coaches like to point out - gives him an edge over the other players.

“In my subjective opinion, in terms of his physical ability and skill level, puwedeng makipagsabayan si Kiefer sa mga ka-position niya. Pag dating sa level ng pag-intindi niya sa laro, sigurado ako na lalamang pa siya sa iba,” Perasol said.

Perasol, however, also pointed out that what Ravena lacks is experience in the international game. His prized guard has won two Southeast Asian Games gold medals with Sinag Pilipinas, but that about make up his overseas resume.

“The only criterion na siguro kulang pa si Kiefer dahil hindi naman siya kasama, ay ang personal exposure niya sa highest level ng competition,” said Perasol.

Many-time national team coach Louie Alas agreed that Ravena is a potential Gilas standout, even going as far as compare Ravena to current Gilas toast Paul Lee.

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