Basketball phenom Kiefer Ravena gained fame when he played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Hailed as the UAAP's Most Valuable Player twice, he is now playing for Alab Pilipinas.
However, Ravena has recently been embroiled in an issue that has nothing to do with basketball.
Alleged 'sexting' with a model
Ravena was said to be involved in a "sexting" scandal with a certain model who posted screenshots of their Viber conversations online.
"Ravena claimed that he was being blackmailed by the woman who promised to take the posts down in exchange of him performing a sexual act on video. He refused and so the photos that he supposedly sent to the woman and their conversation screenshots have been circulating on social media for the past two weeks," reports Fox Sports Asia.
Ravena, on the other hand, didn't exactly comment on the issue. In an interview with ABS-CBN News, he just dismissed the issue by pointing out that "this is not the first time that he has been embroiled in off-court controversy." He was quoted as saying, "Siguro, nasanay ka na rin lang na palaging may ganoon (I guess I just got used to the fact that there's always something like that). I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it is what it is."
Blackmail suspect arrested
On Wednesday, March 29, 22-year-old Kristoffer Monico Ng—who was identified as a Metrobank account officer and alumnus of Ateneo de Manila University—was arrested in an entrapment operation conducted in a Quezon City mall.
Ng has reportedly been in contact with Ravena through Viber. He allegedly acted as a sort of "middleman" for the model who was supposedly blackmailing Ravena.
According to the Philippine National Police-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG), Ng demanded P50,000 from Ravena. Otherwise, he said he would release more compromising photos of the athlete. Half of the amount was said to have been given to the suspect last week.
However, in an Inquirer.net report, Ng stated, "I did not leak those photos. It was Kiefer who offered the P50,000 in exchange for information on the person he had been talking to."
Was the model actually a man?
So, just who was the basketball star talking and "sexting" with?
PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group spokesperson Supt. Jay Guillermo says it may have just been Ng all along posing as the model online.
In an ABS-CBN News report, Guillermo explained in Filipino, "When we did our investigation, we found out that the suspect and the alleged model were just using one number. The social media accounts were also connected."
The report noted: "According to Guillermo, Ng will be charged with robbery and extortion under Article 294 and faces prison time of 12 to 20 years if convicted."