Thursday, December 1, 2022

Postgame Interview - Kiefer Ravena & Justine Baltazar | B1 ROUND 3 | 10.16.2022


B1 Round 3 Game 1: October 15, 2022

Shiga Lakes 83 - 86 Hiroshima Dragonflies


B1 Round 3 Game 2: October 16, 2022

Shiga Lakes 81 - 83 Hiroshima Dragonflies




  • How did you feel about today's game?

(Kiefer Ravena: KR) It was another tough game for us. Back to back and very disappointing losses. I felt like we could have won both games, but HIROSHIMA pulled off with the victory, so we just have to learn from this game and move on to CHIBA for next weekend game.

  • This was the last game at Ukaru-chan Arena. Is there any special feeling or moment from the past?

(KR) Yeah. This is a very special arena for me, obviously, because last year was my first year here in Shiga, and we played most of our games here at Ukaru-chan Arena, and it's sad that we're leaving, but at the same time, we're moving into our new arena. This year, we have a new logo, new team, so I guess it's just fitting for us to have a fresh start, new start for the season, and hopefully it brings us good luck for all of our games this year.

  • In the second half, you really led the team to this point. How did you feel about the atmosphere at the Ukaru-chan arena in the second half?

(KR) Again, as I said, it's a very special arena for me personally. Obviously, because of the Shiga Lakes boosters, the fans that come out to watch us, even though we win or we lose, they're always there to support us the same way. And in this team of ours, my role is one of the leaders. So as much as possible, I try to keep everybody's heads up. And whether we're up or down, we really have to be consistent with our philosophy and really be consistent about the way we play and our teamwork. Sometimes we forget how to play together, especially when the times get tougher or the other team makes runs. We forget that that's the most important time to actually play together and play our philosophy.

  • Compared to the team last season, how do you expect this team to go far?

(KR) We expected to go far. You know, we have big dreams and big goals set for this year, obviously, with the team that set up for this year. You know, we have six new players who played a lot of minutes for their different teams last year, Yusuke, Yusei, Kai obviously, and then the three new imports that we have, our foreigners. I think that we have a good mix of youth and experience. We just need more time, probably to play together, play with one another. But I feel like eventually things will fall into place. Probably the second game against GUNMA was the only game that was really one convincingly. But all the other five games, we had a chance to win it at the end. So we want all of those, and we just have to close it out if ever we have a chance in the future.

  • How do you see your teammate, Kai Toews' potential?

(KR) Kai is a good player. He has great potential, especially for the national team. He's going to be a big help because he's a big guard. The way we give him the responsibility to bring this team together. It's going to be good for him. He's going to make mistakes just like everybody else in our team. But I think when it comes to the learning experience, Kai will have the biggest benefit for this, and hopefully he can help the national team of Japan very, very soon. We have two windows coming up before the World Cup in Okinawa, in the Philippines and Indonesia. So it's going to be fun. And hopefully I get to see my teammates represent the country of Japan.

  • After going through an overtime period yesterday and also last weekend, did the team decide to go for the winner in the final possession today?

(KR) I don't think so. It was just a matter of we set-up at a play to give us a good opportunity to tie the basket. HIROSHIMA, timed their foul very well. They had a foul to give in the end, and you just missed a shot, Kelvin's three pointer in the end. So I guess that's just how basketball really is.

  • As one of the ‚ÄúFilipino veterans‚ÄĚ there in Japan, do you try to organize some get together with the other Filipino players during your free time?

(KR) Yeah. We have one group that we check on each other and make sure that everybody's doing well. Being overseas is really tough, and it's really hard to organize it, even though on the rest days, because we know how tough the schedule is for the B.LEAGUE. So as much as possible, everybody wants the rest, but we make sure that we check on everybody.

  • You‚Äôre a winner all your life, with some tough luck in Japan when it comes to team success so far, do you take it as a challenge as you try to help build a stronger team from essentially the ground up?

(KR) Here in Japan, there is a lot of good players. Yeah, I mean, with everything, I take everything as a challenge. Having that winning tradition when I was a kid, up to when I was college. I tried to carry that everywhere I go on and off the court, and hopefully I can share it with my teammates as well. We're rebuilding team, and now is the best way to show it.


  • Since joining the team, what do you feel you improved?

(Justine Baltazar: JB) For now,I need to take a step-up as Mayo got injured. I do my number one role defense, so I get rebounds.

  • What is your biggest challenge now?

(JB) Here in Japan, there's a lot of good players. For me this is my first time to play a pro. I need to work hard. Work hard, because player here is big.

  • Though your play time is limited so far, how do you take this experience oversees?

(JB) Because coach is playing me as 4, there are other imports, Dwayne, Mayo and Kerry Jr.. As Mayo got injured so I need to step-up and be ready.