Castro, Romeo, Ravena idolized in Taiwan




The Manila Times


JUST over a month since leaving the PBA and moving to Taiwan to coach the Taichung Suns in the T1 League, Filipino-American mentor Chris Gavina is impressed with Taiwanese players, who he said, look up to PBA stars Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo and Kiefer Ravena. “Taiwanese players have been quite impressive in my honest opinion. I have several players who played their college basketball in the US and several other players who were either national team members or high level players from other pro teams here in Taiwan,” Gavina told The Manila Times. “Regarding IQ, our players here are very cerebral and are big time sponges, they want to be taught how to improve, these players actually look up to the top guards in the Philippines like Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo and Kiefer Ravena.” Castro and Romeo are familiar names for Taiwanese, having impressed the local crowd in Chinese Taipei during the 2015 William Jones Cup, which saw the Philippines place second behind champion Iran. The cat-quick Castro made it to the Mythical Team selection in that tournament, being one of the major scoring weapons for the Philippine team which used the Jones Cup as part of its preparation for the 2015 FIBA Asia Men’s championship in China. Romeo, meanwhile, had his Jones Cup debut in 2015. Flashing dyed hair, solid ball handling skills, deadly outside shooting and daredevil moves to the basket, the flamboyant guard out of Far Eastern University wowed the Taiwanese during the tournament. Ravena, who saw action for NLEX, is currently playing for the Shira Lakers in the Japan B.League. “Whatever knowledge I can pass on to them to help them improve towards the level of our (Filipino) top guards, they are more than willing to learn how can they also get to the level of some of the top guards in the Philippines,” explained the 43-year-old Gavina, who handled Rain or Shine for a season before giving way to Yeng Guiao’s return to the PBA franchise. The Suns have won their last three games in the T1 League, including backto-back against the Dwight Howard-led Taiyuan’s Leopards home games. Gavina’s Suns, who also tapped former San Miguel import Diamond Stone and ex-Meralco reinforcement Tony Bishop, overcame the Leopards, 103-94, in a game that saw Howard, the former NBA star, logging in 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Their rematch right at Taichung’s home floor over the weekend also saw the Suns repeat against the Leopards, 93-87, although the 6-10 Howard failed to play after sustaining an injury in their previous match. The Suns currently tote a tournamentbest 4-2 record under Gavina in the six-team field. “The majority of the players here understand how to play the game, so it’s just a matter of introducing methods of developing consistent winning habits they are more than willing to accept and execute,” explained Gavina. “They are all ambitious learners and they want to become the best versions of themselves and I’m trying my best to make that happen for them.” in the away and