NLEX Road Warriors guards Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena has given a bigger role by Gilas coach Chot Reyes going to their match versus the Australia Boomers.
Chot Reyes released to the media his final 12-man lineup for the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers which have a home-and-away type of format.
Jayson Castro William who is the leading scorer in the first two Gilas outing where the Philippines’ men basketball team beat both team Japan and team Chinese-Taipei will sit out due to an injury. Likewise, Jio Jalalon will also move out from the final roster because of some pain he feel in his leg.
“As you know Jayson twisted his ankle during their games against Phoenix and Ginebra. As of yesterday, he tried to go hard in practice but still he wasn’t (100 percent) there at all. So we decided that Jayson is going to sit out, together with Jio who’s also feeling some slight pain in his leg,” explained Reyes.
“So we just decided to play the guys who aren’t experiencing any nagging injuries at this point.”
Alas and Ravena are the two youngsters under the supervision of coach Yeng Guiao who also the mentor of several PBA big names like Vergel Meneses, Paul Lee, Kerby Raymundo, etc.
Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas NLEX Backcourt Duo 48 Points Combined
Alas is currently averaging 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.50 assists per game and was even named as the Bida Player of the Game before he joined Gilas. On the other hand, Ravena got 16.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per outing and a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year honors.
“Both of them have been playing very well in the PBA. 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 for Kevin to get a lot more minutes than he usually gets,” the Gilas coach said.
“Like we always say, not one guy can fill in the big shoes of Jayson, but every other guy collectively can do so. That’s the approach we’re going to take tomorrow.”
Both Australia and the Philippines are defeated in Group B. The Boomers and Gilas Pilipinas will have a separate way after their clash.
Australia Boomers won the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup while Gilas finshed at seventh.