Ravena out, another Ravena in.
Thirdy Ravena, Kiefer’s younger brother, hopes to make up for lost time as he tries to make it back to the Ateneo men’s basketball team lineup for the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tourney that gets going in September.
After sitting out last year due to his academic woes, the 6-foot-2 Ravena, 19, is hoping he would get the nod anew from the Blue Eagles coaching staff as Ateneo opens a new chapter in its cage history without his brother Kiefer, the reigning two-time league MVP who has already utilized his five-year playing eligibility.
So far, Thirdy is doing a stellar job in the Blue Eagles’ pair of victories in the 2016 FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup, averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and a block in 18.5 minutes of action as a starting small forward.
His failure to play alongside Kiefer during his farewell year with the Blue Eagles serves as an added motivation for Thirdy.
“Of course, I missed a lot last year. Maraming nasayang na opportunity dahil sa kakulangan ko sa school—I want to represent the school and I want to play with my brother,” said Thirdy at the end of Ateneo’s 65-58 victory over Lyceum on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
“This year, I’m excited to play for the school again,” he added with a big smile.
Asked what has been a big difference on his plays recently, Thirdy, a former UAAP juniors MVP, said: “Nothing. Nakikinig lang ako sa mga coaches talaga. They told me to follow the system. Kasi kapag sinusunod ko ang sistema, the game will come to me and it will be a lot easier for me.”
Although he welcomes the comparisons to Kiefer, the younger Ravena said he’s more focused on putting the lessons given by the Ateneo coaches straight into his heart.
“It’s about following the coaches including coach tab and its about doing what I have to do to the best of my abilities. its about making the team better and represent the school well,” he shared.
Aware that he’s more athletically-gifted compared to other wingmen in the league, Ravena said that’s exactly what he is trying to utilize to the hilt, hoping he could help the Blue Eagles reach the Promised Land anew, something that they last achieved in 2012 at the end of a ‘five-peat’ run behind legendary coach Norman Black.
“What I think na madadala ko come UAAP ay ‘yung intensity sa hustle on defense and offense,” he said. “Nabigyan ako ni Lord ng athleticism kaya sa tingin ko makakatulong ako sa sistema ni coach by being there for offensive rebounds, putting the ball quickly and driving hard.” — By Christian Jerome Lagunzad
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