Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kiefer Ravena reflects on the NBTC

Kiefer Ravena reflects on the NBTC
by rick olivares

When Kiefer Ravena thinks of the National Basketball Training Center, he thinks of opportunity.

There’s pressure when you’re the son of basketball great Bong Ravena. And that’s one half of his folks because mom, Mozzy, won a bunch of UAAP volleyball titles for UST. But Kiefer likes the pressure and thrives in it.

However, the first thing that is noticeable about the young basketball phenom is how he handles himself with humility. “Aside from learning about values from my parents, that is something I learned from the NBTC,” said Ravena who has won four straight tiles from high school to college. “We are taught that sportsmanship is important and that we have to conduct ourselves in a gentlemanly manner when on the basketball court.”

The young Ravena first took part in the NBTC program in 2007 when he’d go to the Philsports Arena for training outside his practices with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets.

“The training I got from the coaches as well as coach Alex Compton in particular really helped me,” he gushed. “The ‘Chill Drill’ -- that was our last situational drill during practice -- was the most fun and the most helpful. It’s definitely not ‘chill’ as it is a high-intensity all-in-one drill where we work the baseline, dribble a lot, play halfcourt then go in for a layup.”

“Kiefer is a smart kid who loves getting better,” pointed out Compton. “Says a lot about what kind of player he is to love the ‘Chill Drill.’”

“I said that the NBTC is an opportunity, di ba? It is here where I also first met many of my teammates on the youth national team. The NBTC opened doors for me and for many of my teammates. The others are now playing for other college basketball teams – San Beda, National University, La Salle, UP… It’s a good experience for all.”

When told that beginning this year, the NBTC will hold it’s first ever Seaoil All-Star High School Games where the best seniors from all over the country figure in an exhibition match akin to the McDonald’s All-American, Ravena frowned. “Ang daya!” he exclaimed. “Why wasn’t there one during my time?”

“But that’s good because it gives more exposure to deserving players. And that is what the NBTC is all about.”


After Game 3 of the recently concluded PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Kiefer Ravena had a conversation with Talk 'N Text guard Jimmy Alapag along Katipunan Avenue and the pro player told him to take care of his body and to avoid burnout. "That was very good advice and coming from a great player like Jimmy, I have to pay attention. I've been playing a lot of basketball so I am also worried about wear and tear. My parents always remind me of that. It is something I am conscious of."


  1. great kid.... his uncle Randy was a batch of mine in San Agustin in iloilo he was a good player too.. nasa dugo na nila ata ang basketball talaga ...dati pa... Cheers keifer!

    1. hi dzuls! I would like to ask did his father, Bong Ravena spend his two years of college at San Agustin in Iloilo? Thanks!

  2. is NBTC open for all ages?