Kiefer Ravena sees no chemistry issues for Gilas despite missing bigs in SEAG buildup
Kiefer Ravena and Baser Amer reunite in the Gilas side bound for the SEA Games. Jerome Ascano

KIEFER Ravena is confident chemistry won't be an issue for Gilas Pilipinas despite missing a few players in practices when the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia comes in two weeks' time.

Ravena and Co. narrowly won against Ateneo, 86-79, in their first tune-up on Tuesday while playing with just 10 men as Christian Standhardinger and Carl Bryan Cruz are in Lebanon to play for Gilas in the Fiba Asia Cup.

Still, Ravena believes the team will be able to adjust come the SEA Games when Standhardinger and Cruz rejoin the squad despite having no practice with the squad.

"Actually, considering na isang beses pa lang kami nag-practice, maraming adjustments in terms of chemistry and pagkapa sa laro ng bawat isa. But that won't be a problem when the SEA Games comes," said Ravena, who is seeking his fourth SEAG gold in Kuala Lumpur.

[See SEA Games-bound Gilas side's lack of size a major concern, says Baldwin]

Gilas will still have three tune-up games against Adamson, Far Eastern University, and National University in the coming days and Ravena believes these will be enough to get them to play as a unit.

"We have four tune-up games. One down. Hopefully, in those games, we can really improve and really fill the gap kung ano man ang nagkukulang sa amin," said Ravena.

After the Ateneo tune-up game, Gilas assistant coach Jong Uichico admitted that the lack of bigs in the lineup could be a mahor concern with Troy Rosario as their lone legitimate big man in Standhardinger's absence.

Ravena, however, said the absence of bigs won't be a problem if they do their part especially on defense.

"Big man namin, sa labas naglalaro. Medyo importante na hindi siya ma-foul trouble kasi 'yun ang kulang sa amin. Kailangan alagaan namin 'yung individual defense namin para hindi masyado ma-obliga mag-help si Troy or ma-force siya na tulungan kami. Malaking bagay 'yun kapag naayos namin," said Ravena.

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Ravena also believes Standhardinger and Cruz will be able to adjust quickly once they rejoin the squad in Kuala Lumpur.

"For now, it is a problem but when it comes there, makaka-adjust naman si Christian. Hopefully, hindi siya masyado pagod kasi same system naman. He will play a bigger role when it comes to the SEA Games. We definitely need his help," said Ravena.

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