Akhuetie, Ravena lead way as Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas begins practice


MANILA, Philippines – The team that will represent the Philippines in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in China formally began their preparation on Monday evening, with Kiefer Ravena and Bright Akhuetie leading players in practice at the Meralco Gym.

Joining them were Jeron Teng, Carl Cruz, Raymar Jose, Achie Iñigo, Jett Manuel, and Andre Paras.

Akhuetie was confirmed to be one of two reinforcements for the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas squad that will see action in the club tournament, as both Andray Blatche and Christian Standhardinger are not available for the competition scheduled on September 22-30 in Chenzhou.

Also set to join the team is former Baylor University center Isaiah Austin, who may just be the newest candidate for naturalization for the Philippines.

“I know most of these guys, and I know we’re going to do good. It’s a good feeling for me,” said Akhuetie, who is currently serving his residency year for the University of the Philippines.

“I miss basketball,” added the Nigerian big man, who last played organized hoops in 2016 for University of Perpetual Help before transferring. “I’d love to go out there, and get this experience, and be a part of the team.”

While the full roster for the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas squad has yet to be revealed, several practice players also showed up at the Meralco Gym on Monday night to help the team.

Among these players were Joseph Gabayni, Mikee Reyes, and Robbie Herndon.

Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas was drawn into Group A of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, a tournament for Asia’s top basketball clubs. 

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