REPORT: Ravena’s 18-month ban covers “all basketball leagues” including PBA

EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated with reports from the PBA Board Meeting.

Last Monday, Kiefer Ravena, along with officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the NLEX Road Warriors faced the media to announce that the young guard has been suspended by FIBA for 18 months due to test results showing traces of banned substances in his system..

What was clear from the press conference was that Ravena would miss all international tournaments during that 18-month period, including the remaining FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifiers. What was still being determined back then was whether Ravena would be allowed to continue to play in the PBA for the NLEX Road Warriors.

In a report by ESPN 5’s JC Ansis, it seems as if Ravena won’t be able to play in the PBA as well. In an interview on ESPN Sports Center Wednesday night, National Team Head Coach, Chot Reyes confirmed that Ravena’s ban covers “all basketball leagues” including the PBA.

“That has already been denied. The FIBA has replied in no uncertain terms that his ban covers all basketball leagues. Whether under FIBA or not, it covers all basketball leagues.”

That mean’s that Ravena will miss the remaining games in the Commissioner’s Cup, the entire Governor’s Cup and most likely the first two conferences and part of the third conference next season. Besides actual games, Ravena is also not allowed to participate in practices and any basketball-related activities.

The PBA Board held a meeting today and part of their agenda was how to treat Ravena’s case. SBP President Al Panlilio confirmed Coach Reyes’ announcement last night. Because of this, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial is also enforcing the ban, following the FIBA ruling. Ravena won’t be suspended from the PBA. He will just be relegated to the injured list and not allowed to play for the duration of his suspension.

This is a huge blow for Ravena who was a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. He averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists at the end of eliminations in the Philippine Cup. In five games this conference, Ravena put up even better numbers, averaging 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists.