"Whatever conversation I entertained, I made a mistake in doing so. I'm really sorry for what happened. It's something I really regret doing. It messed up a lot of people's lives, not just mine. Kasi mas nahihiya ako 'dun sa mga naabala kong tao more than anything else."
With those words, Kiefer Ravena apologized for the lewd photos controversy that has hounded him the past few weeks as he attempts to move on, hopefully a better man.
"Ang tagal ko na rin gusto magsabi, ayoko lang mag-interfere kasi may basketball pa with Alab (Pilipinas)," said the former UAAP MVP as he spoke to a few reporters at a Quezon City restaurant on Tuesday.
Lewd photos supposedly of Ravena spread on social media weeks ago before a 22-year-old man was arrested in an entrapment operation last Thursday and charged with robbery and extortion.
The 23-year-old basketball star said he regrets making the mistake of 'entertaining' a stranger in an online chat and 'entertaining the person in a flirtatious conversation' without going into detail, for fear it might 'interfere' with the ongoing case.
"Pero gusto ko mag-apologize, very sorry sa pag-entertain ko na nauwi sa ganitong pangyayari. I want to apologize sa parents ko na di nagkulang sa pangaral sa akin," he said.
Ravena also apologized to girlfriend Alyssa Valdez, who he said was unfairly dragged into the issue, as well as to her fans. He aired the hope the volleyball star's fans could forgive him.
"Of course, nagso-sorry ako kay Alyssa. I have no excuse for what happened. Sa sobrang bait mong tao, di ka dapat nalagay sa ganitong situation," the former Ateneo standout said. "Sa fans nya rin, alam ko marami nagalit, pasensya na. Sana mapatawad n'yo ako," he added.
The Alab guard also apologized to his family for dragging them into the controversy. "Masakit sa akin na ako yung may gawa nito, sila pa ang nasasabihan ng masasakit na salita, kinokonsinti daw ako. Pero just like any other parent, ipagtatanggol ka nila eh," said Ravena.
"Sa mga kapatid ko naman na na-affect sa nangyari, gusto ko mag-sorry sa kanila bilang kuya na ni-look up to nila. Nagkulang ako sa aspect na yun," he added before apologizing to his managers, relatives, and fans as well.
The son of former PBA star Bong Ravena and volleyball standout Mozzy also explained why it took him a while to admit to his indiscretion, saying the investigation on the extortion was already set in motion and he did not want to interfere.
"Ako naman, ang pagtahimik ko naman is because may ginagawa kaming case. Of course, I have to face what I did, eto na yung timing na magsasalita ako."
With the apology, Ravena, who is set to play for Alab in Game Two of the ABL semifinals against the Singapore Slingers on Friday in Baliwag, Bulacan, hopes to pick up the pieces while learning from the experience.
"About the case, wala na akong pwedeng masabi dun kasi nasa court [na]. I can't put anything into detail, may rights din naman sya, kami rin," Ravena said.
"Hopefully this could be the last time I talk about this incident. Gusto ko na rin mag-focus sa basketball, to move on. I won't be able to stop other people from saying things about me. Nandyan na 'yan. but I’d like to apologize to all I affected with what happened," he added.
"Gusto ko lang mag-move forward in terms of my career and in terms of my relationships with other people. Sana in time, alam ko, magiging okay din ang lahat."
This story originally appeared on Spin.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.