Kiefer Ravena gets a chance to add to his Southeast Asian Games medal haul after the six-foot guard was named to the 12-man Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the 31st Southeast Asian Games to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam later this month.
Ravena was not part of the original 16-man Gilas pool named by coach Chot Reyes on March 11. But after Robert Bolick withdrew his name from the pool, Ravena was named his replacement.
Reyes confirmed that Ravena was tapped "to replace Robert Bolick who had to fly to the U.S. to be with his ailing father."
Ravena was part of the Philippine men's basketball teams that won gold in the 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 editions of the biennial Games. He has won more SEA Games basketball gold medals than any other Filipino.
The team roster, which was released Thursday by the Philippine Olympic Committee and confirmed by Reyes, is composed of Ravena, Isaac Go, Mo Tautuaa, June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, Francis Lopez, Thirdy Ravena, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, Will Navarro, Kib Montalbo and Kevin Alas.
Among those from the 16-man pool who didn't make the final 12 include big man Japeth Aguilar and talented shooter Dwight Ramos.
"Japeth has to rest his injury while Dwight Ramos still has obligations with his Japan B.League team," Reyes explained. Aguilar was nursing a calf injury during the recent PBA Governors' Cup Finals between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco. Ramos is currently playing for the Toyama Grouses.
The 5x5 basketball competition kicks off on May 16 at the Thanh Trì District Sporting Hall. The Philippines has won the men's basketball gold a record 18 times.
The Philippines is the defending champion in all four basketball events, which also include women's 5x5 basketball and men's and women's 3x3. The Philippine 3x3 teams are composed of Marvin Hayes, Jorey Napoles, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Reymar Caduyac for men and Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro and Camille Clarin for women.
Gilas Women, which won the country's first-ever SEA Games gold medal in women's 5x5 basketball in Manila in 2019, will be bannered by the four 3x3 players plus Elisha Gabrielle Somera, Stefanie Pineda, Ella Fajardo, Andrea Tongco, Angelica Surada, Khate Castillo, Chack Cabinbin and Katrina Guytingco.