In the FilOil Flying V Centre, a few kilometers away from the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Kiefer Ravena sat scrunched behind the Creamline Cool Smashers’ substitution box.
The two-time UAAP MVP could not be at the Araneta due to his ongoing ban, but that wasn’t going to stop him from watching his brother and alma mater win another title.
As Thirdy pulled up and sank a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter, Kiefer looked up and made a face as if he had eaten something sour. Thirdy ended the game with 38 points, tying Kiefer’s UAAP career-high.
Thirdy’s 38, of course, has a bit more bearing since his came in the UAAP Finals.
“Kanina, I was praying na ilabas na siya noong naka-38 na siya. Pati ba naman ‘yun kukunin niya pa sa akin, ‘di ba?,” quipped Kiefer, who is three years older than Thirdy.
“Nakadalawang championship na nga, dalawang MVP pa. ‘Yung thirty-eight na lang saving grace ko eh. Okay lang na masabing pantay. Noong nilabas na siya, [mas] natuwa pa ako kesa noong nag-champion sila.”
Thirdy was brilliant, norming 29.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks; and bagging the Finals MVP, his second in the seniors division.
And Kiefer is incredibly proud of his younger brother. Both have had their share of problems off the court, but Kiefer was glad that Thirdy is getting his redemption.
“Siguro iba din talaga kapag masipag ka. I’ve seen him blossom into the superstar that he is now. I’m just so proud, kami ng parents ko, pati kay Dani. Proud kami sa kanilang dalawa. Thirdy just won a championship for Ateneo. Dani has a chance to win for Ateneo as well. It just goes to show if you stick together as a family and guide each other despite the trials that have or will happen. Importante is we stick [together] as one.”
The amiable people of Twitter cannot help but compare the two brothers. But Kiefer conceded that Thirdy could be the better Ravena, at least until his suspension ends.
“As with who’s the better Ravena, I’m happy to share it with him. Kaya naman na kaming dalawa parehas. For now, siguro na hindi ako naglalaro, bigay muna natin sa kanya.”
While the two may have a comparable collection of collegiate awards, Thirdy still has a chance to surpass Kiefer’s tally in his final playing year in 2019.
Kiefer begrudgingly knows nothing’s gonna stop his brother in his quest for a three-peat.
“I expected something from him in the Finals. I said ‘You didn’t give good numbers, and that’s what people expect you to do, so you better perform during the finals.’ Not to put any pressure on him, but that boy loves the stage, loves to be in the Finals. He got two Finals MVPs, two championships. He’s going for a third one just so he can say he can beat me. I’m pretty sure that’s his biggest motivation right now. It has been going on in the house since he didn’t have one,” admitted Kiefer, a two-time UAAP champion.
“Now, I’m afraid he’s gonna get one in his senior year. I know he won’t let anything happen, nothing in his way can stop him. As much as they win, the target’s gonna get bigger, especially since all schools are going to get better.”
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