Photo by the PBA Media Bureau
Import change has the super rookie worried. But why?
With Kevin Alas out for the entire season and with JR Quinahan dealing with an injury of his own, the NLEX Road Warriors are facing uncertainties especially with the fact that they have three scheduled games in the span of the first week of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
And the fact that they haven't even integrated their import into the picture? It worries Kiefer Ravena.
Kiefer Ravena may be a rookie but he knows what's to worry about in the situation of his team who made their first semifinal appearance back in the Philippine Cup only to be hit by Alas' ACL injury which consequently doomed the Road Warriors as they bowed down to an experienced Magnolia Hotshots squad in 6 games.
So what has the Phenom worried in the first place?
The Road Warriors have been doing their practices for the past three weeks but here's the problem, at least for Manong Kief: NLEX hasn't made any progress as they have been training without an import after Arnett Moultrie was held up in Bahrain and, replacement import, Adrian Forbes who is scheduled to arrive today. Having said that, the late change in import has put NLEX at a disadvantage in terms of preparation period because Adrian Forbes hasn't integrated into the system just yet.
Locals Must Step Up
Since they won't have any choice but to play despite having little preparation time together with their import, Kiefer Ravena has one thing in mind: the locals must step up. With Kevin Alas already out of the picture for this season and with JR Quinahan expected to miss some games, this will mean that Kiefer Ravena must lead NLEX until such time when Adrian Forbes has already found himself comfortable with the system that Coach Yeng Guiao will be running. And Kiefer Ravena shouldn't have to carry NLEX, alone.
And they shouldn't heavily rely on Adrain Forbes, either.
At the end of the day, the key to success for NLEX has always been the collective effort of the locals. Guys like Larry Fornacier, Alex Mallari, and even Cyrus Baguio should be able to chip in come the grinding opening week of the mid-season conference. After all, they were the reason why the Road Warriors were able to make it to the semifinals for the first time- them and of course, Kiefer Ravena.