Doubters and naysayers have said that Thirdy Ravena was just picking his spot when he decided not to enter the 2019 PBA Draft.
“Naghihintay lang ‘yan kung kailan maganda pick ng MVP teams” or “Ayaw lang niyan pumunta sa Columbian” were some of the comments made when he announced his decision to skip last year’s rookie festivities.
Wednesday morning, the UAAP’s only three-time Finals Most Valuable Player shut everyone up after the B-League announced that club team San-en NeoPhoenix had signed the second generation cager as their Asian import for the 2020-21 season.
And no one was more proud than his big brother Kiefer.
“Siyempre masaya kasi siya first Filipino and at the same time, na-prove niya ‘yung maraming nagsasabi na umiiwas lang siya sa PBA Draft wrong,” Kiefer expressed.
“May plano naman talaga siya maglaro sa ibang bansa.”
Kiefer was in the same predicament five years ago.
Fresh off a stellar five-year campaign with Ateneo, Kiefer decided to skip that year’s draft, instead trying his luck in the NBA D-League.
Kiefer would moonlight around the league, joining independent club teams like Mighty Sports, Alab, and Chooks-to-Go in spot tournaments.
The two-time UAAP MVP only entered the Draft in 2017.
Having experienced numerous international tournaments, Kiefer knows that Thirdy’s new journey will only make him much stronger both as a player and as a person. Moreover, the NLEX Road Warrior believes that Thirdy now has an advantage against his local peers, as both the PBA and the MPBL have halted their games due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Magiging beneficial sa career niya ‘yun, lalo na kung wala pang PBA tapos siya makakapag-laro agad kung tuloy ‘yung Liga nila sa Japan. Advantage na ‘yun kasi learning experience plus international exposure ulit,” opined Kiefer.
“Sana maganda talaga i-perform niya para matagal siya dun sa Japan, and ma-fulfill niya ‘yung dream niya sa paglalaro internationally.”