The match-up against his younger brother, Thirdy, brought Filipino basketball star and Shiga Lakestars stud Kiefer Ravena, back to their early days as kids playing against one another in their backyard.
Fresh off their two-game series that ended in a split between Shiga and Thirdy’s SanEn NeoPhoenix, Ravena reminisced of simpler times between he and his brother.
“It takes us back to our younger days when we were playing in the backyard of our home court before, playing with no shoes on and just enjoying basketball. And now, we're in one of the highest level of leagues in the world, showcasing our talents, representing our family, representing the Filipino talents, and representing the Filipino people as well,” said the older Ravena.
Kiefer, who is in his first year in Japan’s pro league, added how proud he is of his brother, who helped pave the way for him and the next wave of Filipino basketball stars to go to Japan and showcase their basketball skills.
“I've watched him grow up from playing in high school and college winning a lot of championships, at the same time being a trailblazer for us Filipinos to crossover here in Japan,” said Kiefer. “It's just amazing to be part of his life, part of his career. He's a grown man right now and he's just doing his own thing.”
Last Saturday, Shiga came back from a 22-point deficit and stunned SanEn, 93-83, thanks to Kiefer’s steady leadership and a typical stat line of 11 points, eight assists, three rebounds and three steals, without committing a single turnover.
On Sunday, Thirdy paid his brother back as SanEn rallied from an 18-point deficit and took down the Lakestars in overtime, 101-96. The younger Ravena shone with 21 points, including a dagger three-pointer in overtime, to go with seven boards and five dimes.
Both games drew a massive audience, both at the venue and online, something that the siblings appreciated a great deal.
“We're just so grateful that a lot of Filipinos came over from Kyoto, Osaka, Gifu, and Tokyo and really traveled a lot of miles just to watch us siblings play. We can't show our appreciation to them but hopefully when they see this or read this, we were able to get that message, that we truly appreciate their time and their effort in traveling and watching us brothers play,” said Kiefer.
Kiefer and Thirdy will not face off until January, so for now, the former will once again assume his duties as older brother.
“As an older brother, now that we can treat each other as brothers now that the game is over, we just both wish for one another that we can play as many games as we want here in the B.League and stay injury-free,” said Kiefer. (JNP)