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Time off helped Kiefer Ravena gain even better basketball IQ, says Norwood

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, July 19, 2019 8:15pm

Kiefer Ravena is coming into the Gilas Pilipinas squad after a long layoff from basketball. But while the former Ateneo King Eagle may have missed a lot of competitive basketball, Gabe Norwood believes that Ravena has become an even smarter basketball player.

In an interview with Courtside Philippines after the team's practice on Thursday, Norwood said that Ravena seemed to have maximized his time off to learn more things about the game.

"Kiefer, I think, has really taken his time to really study the game even more," Norwood said.

"Sometimes you can learn a lot when you're sitting back watching, so he's coming with a different IQ right now," the Gilas veteran added.

Norwood also said that Ravena can now set the team's plays even better. He even put the youngster in line with veterans Mark Barroca and Paul Lee in terms of playing the point.

"He's really maximizing everybody on the court, and I think that's something that CJ [Perez], Robert [Bolick], and everybody can learn from Kiefer, Mark Barroca, and Paul [Lee] in terms of commanding the court and putting everybody in a good spot."

On Thursday, Ravena was seen giving out specific instructions to his teammates while they were practicing team plays, pointing them to where they should be and telling then when they should move.

Ravena is making his return to Gilas after FIBA suspended him for 18 months for failing the random drug test during Gilas Pilipinas’ home game against Japan on February 25, 2018. He was also banned from playing in the Philippine Basketball Association during his suspension.

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