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Ravena hopes to not disappoint fans as he enters PBA

Kiefer Ravena is arguably the best bet to win Rookie of the Year. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Kiefer Ravena is arguably the most prolific player among the PBA Draft Class of 2017, so all eyes are on him as he joins NLEX as the second overall pick.

"Hopefully, I get to meet all the expectations of the people on the court and to help NLEX win more games," Ravena said after his selection was formalized at the Robinson's Place Manila Atrium on Sunday night.

While he may be a rookie PBA-wise, the 24-year-old guard already has a lot of accolades in the professional and international games.

Ravena won four SEA Games gold medals in consecutive fashion and had an opportunity to train with NBA G-League side Texas Legends before joining Alab Pilipinas in its ABL semifinals campaign last season.

"Siguro that should be an advantage knowing that I was able focus on improving myself and making myself physically and emotionally ready pagdating sa PBA," he said on how the said playing experiences helped him become fit for the big league.

But the key highlight of his post-UAAP playing career is being under the tutelage of Coach Chot Reyes at the Gilas pool.

"That really helped my career a lot," Ravena further said.

Now, Ravena is set to be mentored by Yeng Guiao, who is known for developing players.

"I expect [the coaching] to be rough and fun at the same time knowing that I’ll be able to learn a lot from Coach Yeng. I expect him to be hard on me knowing that he wants me to learn as soon as possible," Ravena continued.

Ravena declared for the draft 25 years after his father Bong joined the PBA and even won the Rookie of the Year, and with Kiefer being a preseason cinch to win the said freshman plum alongside Chris Standhardinger and Jeron Teng, even his dad looks forward to him winning it.

"[It’s] another challenge for me, but we’ll see. It’s a long season, so hopefully I get to fulfill his expectations," the younger Ravena said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno