SMB's Chris Ross (left) and NLEX's Kiefer Ravena | Compsoite Image/PBA Photos

Kiefer Ravena to test mettle vs SMB's Ross
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - January 19, 2018 - 1:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — Kiefer Ravena has been nothing short of impressive in the PBA.

And his next test as cager is just getting tougher.

After a showdown with former Yeng Guiao trooper and PBA champion Paul Lee, this year’s second overall pick is now headed toward a collision course with five-time titlist Chris Ross.

Early in December, the San Miguel Beer floor general said that he’s bracing for the influx of new talent and even specifically pointing to Ravena himself.

“I’m working on my body a lot,” he noted. “I’m really up for the challenge.”

Ravena, for his part, acknowledges how much of a steep climb it is going against the league’s two-time top defender, let alone the deep, stacked Beermen squad.

“‘Di naman masyadong mahirap,” he said in a nervous jest. "With San Miguel, we just have to prepare. Some time you have to pick your poison and they have five poisonous guys on the floor every single time.”

And he is also aware that the competition is not letting their guard down as the season progresses.

“Alam mo 'yun, with the first two games, kahit sino namang rookie, 'di nila alam ano ieexpect sa ‘yo. Pero as nagpro-progress 'yung conference, 'yung season, they get to watch more of your games, the way you play, your decision-making so at the same time kailangan mong i-counter ‘yon eh, yung ginagawa sa ‘yo,” Ravena said.

“It’s like coming to a test, doing your homework, doing the extra work, getting out of your way, studying the opponent, kasi 'di lang pwede na napapractice lang kayo nang nagpa-practice then you expect to win every single game,” he noted.

And against the reigning Philippine Cup champions, who are gunning for an unprecedented fourth straight crown, practice will definitely be not enough.

“You have to live with (San Miguel’s depth) and find a way to win,” Ravena offered. "We have to want it kasi eh. We have to see what we did in the first two games and find it deep in ourselves to execute and do the same things to help us win.”

NLEX and San Miguel tangle in the nightcap of Friday’s PBA skirmish at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. Blackwater and GlobalPort clash in the first game.

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