KIEFER Ravena got through what he described as a nerve-wracking but fun debut as volleyball television analyst on Tuesday during Game Three of the NCAA Season 91 men’s volleyball finals between University of Perpetual Help and Emilio Aguinaldo College - thanks to some on-the-fly motherly advice.
“Kinakabahan talaga ako. Bagong thing ‘to for me. Hindi ko naman natural na ginagawa ‘yun. Ginuest lang ako at tinulungan naman nila ako (ABS-CBN Sports crew). It made my life easier,” said Ravena, who got help from co-analyst Andrei Felix on ABS-CBN Sports and Action but also took instant coaching tips via text messages from his mother, veteran volleyball commentator Mozzy Ravena.
“Stop using ‘talaga’ daw. Pati ‘yung ngiti ko pinapansin niya rin,” he revealed of his mom's helpful suggestions.
This isn't Ravena's first time working from the sidelines as he's done TV work before, calling a game in the Filsports Basketball Association. But covering volleyball, a sport he also plays, provided him a different and unique challenge.
“Mas natural ‘yun (basketball). Mas kaya ko ‘yung basketball kasi you analyze the game quicker, and the terms are second nature for me. Volleyball kasi common terms lang at ‘yung mga naririnig ko sa mom ko,” said Ravena.
"Yung volleyball [kasi] it’s just a passion that I have, and that made it easier kasi nanonood talaga ako ng volleyball kahit sa TV," he added.
Still, Ravena remains open and hopeful to work volleyball games again.
"Bagong experience for me and hopefully, I get to practice more and do it more sa future,” said Ravena. “Hopefully mabigyan uli ng chance (sa volleyball). After that, focus na uli sa basketball.”
However, Ravena quickly shot down the possibility of him covering a game where Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez is playing.
“Naku, mahirap ‘yan lalo na kapag Ateneo. Hindi lang naman si Alyssa. I might be too biased for Ateneo. It’s work and you have to be professional about it. I’ll stay away from it and let her do her thing. I’ll be supporting her,” Ravena said.