I can only watch in awe for I have never been impressed by a 13 year old in a UAAP Juniors game. I remember a decade ago reading on the papers the rivalry of BJ Manalo and Eric Yao then of Xavier in the SBP. Imagine these two scoring 40 points in an SBP game! If you are familiar with SBP rules, a team is obliged to play 5 different players in the first three quarters and then field his best players in the fourth- and they still managed to score 40. When I saw BJ play as a sophomore in 1997 I was filled with excitement since I said he was the second coming of Richie Ticzon. That was why when Eric Yao enrolled in the Ateneo I was so much excited on the prospect of two scoring machines, two former rivals in one team. Well you most probably know what happened to that story as they never got to play together and was never even considered by teams in the PBA. Then just years ago I heard of another great story, the Dumrique Brothers, JV and Charles leading their respective SBP and Pasarelle teams to the championship. I also heard of an up and coming LSGH player whose scoring and defensive stance made it hard for Ateneo to win the game outright. The boy was Kiefer Ravena, son of former PBA player, UE Warrior and now assistant coach Bong Ravena. I said, wow the Greenies are already waiting for their future star. But alas after that season, Kiefer transferred to the Ateneo and just recently made it to the UAAP Juniors line up. I don’t know about the guys who followed me but I never chanced upon a freshman cracking the Juniors line up.
The first time I saw him play was last Saturday during the first game of the Juniors finals between the Eaglets and the Junior Archers. As Simon Cowell would say “I’m impressed!” with the young Ravena. Like a ravenous Blue Eaglet he swooped down on the foe and stole the bole from Las salle’s Elorde and then scored on a lay up. He would also score on a triple, score on a drive off a pass and then stole the ball again off another La Salle guard to score another basket.
Unlike BJ, I just hope that by the time he will join the Blue Eagles together with JV and his brother. It is really a signal of better things to come for the Blue Eagles.