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Kiefer Ravena happy to return to NLEX, Gilas practice

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Kiefer Ravena on moving on without Jayson Castro (2:04)

Kiefer Ravena on Gilas Pilipinas' chances in World Cup (2:04)

Kiefer Ravena is eager to put the 487 days he spent suspended from basketball behind him. And nobody is happier to be at a Gilas Pilipinas practice more than Ravena.

After FIBA in February 2018 suspended Ravena for 18 months after he tested positive for three banned substances, he told ESPN5 he spent four months completely away from basketball to reflect.

Ravena joined ESPN5's SportsCenter Philippines Tuesday evening in his first public interview since returning to basketball.

"I had to take a step back. Put the little things into perspective. Appreciate the talent that was given to me. By just learning that, it allowed me to go even harder," Ravena said.

Ravena turned to golf to pass the time and satisfy his competitive impulses.

Now Ravena is ready to replace veteran point guard Jayson Castro as Gilas Pilipinas prepares for the FIBA World Cup in August.

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Kiefer Ravena turned to golf, working out during suspension

Kiefer Ravena talks to ESPN5 about what he learned while on his suspension from basketball.

With his return set for the Philippines' first assignment in Foshan against Italy on August 31, Ravena is confident Gilas can make some noise at the FIBA World Cup despite playing in a tough bracket with Serbia, Italy, and Angola.

"You'll never know what's going to happen. We might be the underdogs but chances are we are as equally competitive as our other opponents in our group."