CLARK FREEPORT–NLEX playmaker Kiefer Ravena developed a bulkier physique for the resumption of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), but his offseason transformation was a non-factor in the Road Warriors’ first game in the Philippine Cup on Sunday night.
Ravena, who beefed up his body in time for the PBA reboot under a bubble concept, only had six points on a sour 2-of-8 shooting from the field to go with four rebounds and three assists in NLEX’s 92-102 loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Arena here.
The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart admitted that his poor performance could be attributed to his mental preparedness, or the lack of it.
“I have no excuse for playing that way. It’s definitely not because of my condition. It’s not even about the physique change. It’s more of the mental side of not being in the present,” said Ravena.
“I need to have that sense of accountability and I talked to the team about it already. I promised na ‘di na sya mauulit,” he added.
The 26-year-old guard also did not mind the negative reactions about his physical transformation.
It could be remembered that Ravena was suspended by FIBA for 18 months after testing positive for three banned substances, which he ingested through a pre-workout drink ahead of Gilas’ home game against Japan in the World Cup Asian qualifiers almost two years ago.
“‘Di na mawawala sakin ‘yan (bad comments) especially pagdating sa PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). Anino ko na ‘yan habang-buhay. ‘Di naman tayo papaapekto dyan,” he said.
“Kapag nagpapayat naman ako, may masasabi pa rin. ‘Pag nagpa-kondisyon, nagpalaki ng katawan may masasabi pa rin. ‘Yun ang mahirap sa mga PBA players laging nalalagay sa alanganin.”
“Pero part (na ng buhay) namin ‘yun. Kailangan lang namin mag-focus lang dun sa goal, which is to play our best.”
Ravena will try to rebound from his paltry showing when NLEX tangles with Magnolia, which also lost its opening game to San Miguel back in March 8, on Wednesday.