When Thirdy Ravena signed with San-En NeoPhoenix, CEO Kenjiro Hongo said that Filipinos would come in droves whenever they play on their home floor Toyohashi City General Gymnasium.
Yes, there are almost 8,000 Filipinos working in Mikawa and Hamamatsu.
And some of them made sure to watch Ravena’s home debut on Wednesday evening. Filipino fans with Thirdy placards and Philippine flags were spotted inside the 3,000-seater venue.
It proved to be the spark the 6-foot-3 winger needed, as he fired 11 points in the first half alone versus Osaka.
Ravena finished with 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Unfortunately, though, San-En suffered a heartbreaking 84-85 defeat — their 11th loss in 13 games.
Still, the 23-year-old made a vow to the OFWs working there.
“Salamat sa lahat ng nandito. Pasensya na, hindi kami nanalo pero babawi kami next game.”