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PBA: Ravena excited to meet league’s marquee guards

Kiefer Ravena already had something in mind when asked what will be his biggest challenge – when he begins the new chapter of his career as a highly-touted PBA rookie of the NLEX Road Warriors.

“The biggest challenge is…facing…LA Tenorio, Terrence Romeo, Baser Amer, Stanley Pringle…(Alex) Cabagnot and Chris Ross,” Ravena said Thursday after signing a three-year rookie contract with NLEX at the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation office in Makati City.

“I’ve been thinking already on how I can match up against those guys and parang iniisip ko na kung anung pwede kong gawin para makasabay, so sana maging ready talaga ako pagdating ng panahon,” he added.

Playing against some of the PBA’s best guards will be part of Ravena’s learning curve once he dons the Road Warriors uniform.

Already, NLEX management ordained the former Ateneo star as the team’s franchise player shortly after the latter signed on the dotted line for a reported max deal of P8.55 million for the next three years.

“One of the missing pieces of our quest for excellence has been a franchise player and a Kiefer will definitely bring that to the team,” said NLEX Team Governor Ramoncito Fernandez. “We’re looking forward to his leadership, to his high basketball IQ and to his team being a team to watch.”

Ravena, however, would like to temper expectations, saying his main focus is to help NLEX gain momentum from last season’s Governors’ Cup quarterfinal appearance, the first since Yeng Guiao was hired as coach.

“It’s a long way to go for me to be one of that, when the time comes I’ll be glad to accept that role,” he said. “But for now, I’ll be happy to do anything I can to help the team win.”

Ravena hopes to contribute under the Guiao, who has been impressed with several aspects of his game. What he would like to avoid is to get a tongue-lashing the veteran mentor has been widely known.

“Yun ang goal ko, wag akong masampolan ni coach,” Ravena said in jest.

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