Ravena, Alas need to step up for Gilas
YOUNG guns Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas will be playing bigger roles for Gilas Pilipinas in the absence of Jayson Castro in a Fiba World Cup Asian qualifying game against Australia today.
Castro was excluded from the Philippines’ final lineup against the Aussies due to an ankle injury he sustained against Barangay Ginebra and Phoenix in the PBA Philippine Cup recently.
The same goes for playmaker Jio Jalalon, who also didn’t make the roster due to an injury, leaving the point guard duties to Ravena and Alas.
National team coach Chot Reyes has faith in the two, who have been solid for their mother ballclub NLEX in the PBA.
“They’ve been playing very well, both of them have been playing very well in the PBA,” said Reyes, who went live on Facebook for the announcement of the final lineup on Wednesday.
“And you all know Kiefer accounted himself very well in the first window. It’s hard not having our top point guard, but this is an opportunity for Kiefer to step in and also for Kevin to get a lot more minutes than he usually gets.”
Castro has always been national team’s top local performer for the longest time and his and loss is a major blow to Gilas, which faces a tall order in toppling the current 10th best team in the world, as per the Fiba ranking.
But regardless of how invaluable Castro is to the team, Reyes believes Gilas can fill the void by committee.
“Like we always say, there’s not one guy that can fill the big shoes of Jayson, but every other guy collectively can do so. so that’s the approach we’re going to take in tomorrow’s ball game.”
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