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Sep 26, 2017
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In case you haven't heard, Kiefer Ravena is tearing up the competition in the ongoing FIBA Asia Champions Cup.

While Carl Bryan Cruz and Jeron Teng have had their moments, the most consistent performer for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas other than import Isaiah Austin is The Phenom, who averages 23.3 points per game as the tournament's leading Asian scorer.

-vs Kazakhstan's BC Astana: 22 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl
-vs Palestine Sareyyet Ramallah 24 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl
-vs Thailand's Mono Vampire 24 pts, 2 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl

He is shooting a solid 55.6 percent from the field (67.9% 2pts); draining a respectable 35.3% from rainbow territory (6 of 17); and converting a league-best 93.3% from the charity stripe (14-15).

This remarkable showing—especially on international stage—is surely making PBA coaches drool over the prospect of acquiring Ravena in the upcoming draft, albeit the latter still pondering whether to enter or not. If he indeed applies, here are the reasons the former King Eagle should be the consensus top pick among the relatively stacked 2017 class:


Credentials

Despite not having played a single minute in the local official minor league organization, the PBA D-League, Ravena boasts a resume that can rival those of his professional counterparts:

*four-time champion - UAAP (2011, 2012), FilOil Flying V Cup (2011), Unigames (2014)
*six-time Most Valuable Player - UAAP (2014, 2015), FilOil Flying V Cup (2011), Unigames (2014), PCBL (2016), College Basketball Awards (2011)
*six-time gold medalist - Southeast Asian Games (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017), SEABA Championship (2015), SEABA Under-18 Championship (2010)
*13-time Mythical Team - UAAP (2011, 2014, 2015), Flying V Cup (2011, 2012, 2013), PCBL (2012, 2016), College Basketball Awards (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016), FIBA Asia U-18 Championship (2010)
*Rookie of the Year - UAAP (2011)

Truth be told, he would have made an impact in the PBA if not for stints in the Philippine Commercial Basketball League (PCBL), Alab Pilipinas, and several national teams. Also, you must be quite special if an NBA D-League squad (Texas Legends, Dallas Mavericks minor league affiliate) signs you as a developmental player.

Competition

With Jeron Teng and Christian Standhardinger joining the October 29 event, this year's talent pool is simply loaded. We're not even considering a last-minute filing by Ray Parks. Many teams could use athletic swingmen or an energetic big man, but few will pass on a generational combo guard like Ravena, who is basically a cross between Terrence Romeo and Jayson Castro.

Caliber

Elite slashing? Check. Deadly perimeter game? Check. Underrated intangibles? Check. But what sets the guy apart from his rivals is his superior basketball IQ. His unparalleled decision-making and ability to make the correct reads offsets his deficiencies (if there's any), making Ravena a cut above the rest.

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