Play for Gilas PH? anytime -- Kiefer

KIEFER Ravena hopes for another Gilas Pilipinas call up in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“Sana pagpalain tayo na makalaro uli doon, na magkaroon tayo ng second chance sa FIBA World Cup," said Ravena during the Iloilo City-based "Sports Lang" podcast over the weekend.

“Sobrang exciting yun kasi siyempre dito gaganapin and it is an opportunity to play in front of the Filipino crowd,” he added. “Noong Southeast Asian Games nga iba na ‘yung Filipino crowd, mas lalo pa diyan dahil FIBA World Cup yan.”

A five-time SEA Games gold medalist, Ravena was the Gilas team captain in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers last February.

The NLEX guard sees bright future for the national men’s basketball team with young big men Kai Sotto, Carl Tamayo and AJ Edu in the pool, as well as San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo, who may still be available by that time.

“The Philippines has a bright future sa bigs dahil nandyan si Kai, si Edu at si Tamayo. Nandoon sila to really carry the torch for the future big men. Baka andyan pa din si June Mar by that time,” said Ravena.

The country should have learned its lesson from its unsuccessful stint in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, and Ravena emphasized more preparation time to have a better performance in three years time.

“Parang it’s never too early to start preparing. There is no such thing as early preparation. We know we have a lot of talents but we are not a fortunate country na kahit two weeks lang pagsamahin kaya mag-perform at a very high level,” said Ravena.

“Kaya naman natin ‘yun but we have to prepare hard. Nakita n’yo naman ‘yung nangyari noong last World Cup. Kulang talaga eh alam naman natin ano nangyaring result,” he added.

The Philippines will host the 2023 FIBA World Cup along with Japan and Indonesia.